A Gallatin county resident is in the isolation unit at the Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital after returning from a trip to China with some possible symptoms of the coronavirus.

Matt Kelley, health officer with the Gallatin City County Health Department has details.

“This is not surprising,” said Kelley. “This is what we expected would happen. When people travel they get sick. We had somebody with recent travel history to mainland China come back and they’ve gotten sick. There are a lot of different reasons why they may be sick, but there’s been really minimal exposure in Gallatin County or in Montana to this person who is in care and is in isolation right now.”

Kelley said he went public with the information because there were rumors and incorrect information about the exposure.

“We were getting questions and hearing rumors out there,” he said. “There was a lot of misinformation, so we wanted to get out there and share with people exactly what was going on, which is just that we have a person who had travel history in mainland China and became ill. They’re in good hands now and being evaluated by local healthcare providers, the state health department and the Centers for Disease Control, and we should have some answers here in the next 48 to 72 hours.”

Kelley went on to say that protecting yourself from the coronavirus requires the same precautions as from a cold or the flu. Wash your hands often, don’t touch your face with your hands, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and if you feel ill, consult a healthcare provider immediately.

A press release states: ‘representatives with Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital said the organization is prepared to care for patients requiring any special precautions. Patients who come in to the hospital are appropriately evaluated, and if a patient is identified as needing special precautions, specific protocols and processes are immediately implemented for the care and safety of all.’

(Photo courtesy of NBC Montana)