The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) and the Barbourville Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) hospital are working closely with the local health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate a potential case of an infectious disease.
Close contacts of the potentially-infectious individual have been identified and are being monitored. 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.
“We want to assure Kentuckians we are aware of a potential infectious disease,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Angela Dearinger.
Dr. Dearinger went on to tell that the DPH is working in collaboration 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 the Commonwealth.
“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,” Dr. Dearinger went on to say.
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.
Any threat to the general public is being assessed but is believed to be extremely low.
Anyone experiencing signs or symptoms of a viral illness, including fever, nausea, body aches, or lethargy, is encouraged to seek health care immediately.
Additional information will be shared as details are confirmed.
You can read the full statement published on this matter by the Kentucky Department for Public Health here.