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Infectious Disease Investigation in Barbourville
Kentucky Ag Connection - 01/15/2020

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) and the Barbourville Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) hospital are working closely with the local health department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate a potential case of an infectious disease. Close contacts of the individual have been identified and are being monitored.

"We want to assure Kentuckians we are aware of a potential infectious disease and are working collaboratively with the local hospital as well as local, regional, and federal public health authorities to determine not only a possible cause of illness, but any steps that need to be taken to protect the health and wellbeing of our Commonwealth," said DPH Commissioner Dr. Angela Dearinger. "We do not believe the wider community to be at-risk and appropriate protocols were followed at the hospital to prevent exposure to other patients."

Any threat to the general public is being assessed, but is believed to be extremely low. Additional information will be shared as details are confirmed. At this time, a diagnosis has not been made as health officials work to complete necessary medical and laboratory testing outlined by infectious disease protocols.

Barbourville ARH remains open, including the emergency department.

Anyone experiencing signs or symptoms of a viral illness, including fever, nausea, body aches, or lethargy, is encouraged to seek health care immediately.

DPH is following up to inform any hospital worker or close contact of the patient about symptoms to look for in case this illness turns out to be a risk to others.

Additional updates or information related to the investigation will be shared with the public as they become available, if needed. Additional information is available at http://chfs.ky.gov/.

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