OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) — Retired Assistant Surgeon General Pamela Schweitzer said Mississippians do not have much to worry about at this point concerning the coronavirus.
"Right now for Mississippians, it's a low risk," said Schweitzer, who was asked about the virus during her visit to Ole Miss Friday where she gave a lecture about the pharmacy profession.
Still, local hospitals and clinics are preparing, especially since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week said the spread of the virus in the United States was inevitable and encouraged businesses, communities and hospitals to start getting ready just in case.
The retired rear admiral did offer advice on how you can prepare for the coronavirus.
One, get the flu shot if you have not already.
Two, wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds when you are out in public.
Three, know that the symptoms are very similar to a common cold.
And finally, if you are sick, stay home and away from groups of people.
However, she assured everyone that the U.S. is well prepared to handle the virus.
"I had a whole career in the federal government, and I can tell you there are a lot of people right now that are working together, and I am very confident in our government," said Schweitzer.
She said the greatest risk for Mississippians is traveling.
"So if they're not traveling right now, they shouldn't have anything to worry about," said Schweitzer.
Health professionals advise someone who suspects having the coronavirus to not go straight to the doctor or the hospital. Instead, call the doctor or hospital before going anywhere.