Michiana health officials warn of future coronavirus spread

ELKHART, Ind. -- The Indiana Department of Health held a mass webinar call with local agencies on how to contain any spread of novel coronavirus ,which might soon be declared a pandemic, county health departments said Friday.

The good news is none of the active cases of coronavirus in the U.S. include Indiana or Michigan so far, but according to the Centers for Disease Control, it’s not a matter of if it’ll strike close to home - but when.

Today’s call also included implementation of travel screenings for those returning from countries hit hard by the virus such as Italy, South Korea, Iran, Japan, and China.

Elkhart County Health Officer Lydia Mertz said Friday that one demographic at risk once cases pop up nearby could be the elderly.

“As far as we can tell right now most of the severely ill victims have been elderly or immune compromised or have chronic diseases that make them more susceptible to any illness,” Mertz said.

A South Bend International Airport official told ABC 57 Friday it doesn’t carry direct flights from any countries under the advisory, but does want travelers to always practice good hygiene before flying.

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