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Facts not Fear: Maine CDC Director Answers Questions on Coronavirus

Dr. Nirav Shah joins NEWS CENTER Maine's Sean Stackhouse to answer your biggest questions about Covid-19, or Coronavirus

MAINE, USA — There are now 15 reported cases of Covid-19, also known as the Coronavirus, in the United States. There are an additional 45 confirmed cases of persons repatriated to the US from Wuhan, China, and the Princess Diamond cruise ship.

With growing concerns about the virus spreading, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Nirav Shah spoke with NEWS CENTER Maine's Sean Stackhouse to answer viewer questions.

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"Based on what we know now in the United States, the risk of of coronavirus infection remains low," said Dr. Shah. "But that's changing. We urge everybody to do a few things right now to prepare for the possibility of coronavirus. The first is to stay healthy. 

Shah urges all Mainers to eat well, get enough sleep and get a flu shot if you haven't already. Shah also recommends checking Maine's and the United States CDC website to stay informed. 

"Cases of coronavirus around the world have been increasing, and that's concerning," said Shah. "What's been encouraging is despite the fact that there are tens of thousands of cases around the globe, there are so cases in the United States. 45 of those cases are among individuals who have been repatriated to the United States."

There are more than 80,000 confirmed cases across the world, with more than 78,000 coming from China. The US CDC reports more than 2800 deaths across the globe, however none in the United States. 

"Even though the worldwide number of cases has been increasing, what we don't yet know is how severe this outbreak will be," said Shah. "Even though a lot of people might be affected, early data from some of the other countries that have had experience with this virus, have suggested that approximately 80% percent of people have mild symptoms. That's a good sign that's on the horizon."