On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the Pitt County Public Health Director, Dr. John Silvernail released a followup letter to all residents of Pitt County, regarding the ongoing concerns within the community related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This statement (provided below) comes approximately one week after the release of an initial letter to County residents from Dr. Silvernail; and serves to reinforce his commitment to maintaining direct communication with the public during this event.
Fellow Pitt County Residents:
I know that you are uneasy over the outbreak of COVID 19, but let me assure you, we have no known cases of COVID 19 in Pitt County as of this writing. I do expect that sooner or later, we will have cases in Pitt County.
Please keep in mind that 80% of infected individuals will likely have only a mild to moderate illness with COVID 19. Children and young to middle aged adults generally do well with this infection unless they have pre-existing conditions like heart disease, lung disease or diabetes. Elderly persons (people over age 65) are at greatest risk for far more severe infections. Their risk also increases with pre-existing conditions.
In regards to testing, we are still in the midst of cold and flu season and common things occur commonly. If you become ill and have not traveled or have not been in contact with a person known to be infected with COVID 19, you likely have a common infection.
If you become ill, seek care with your normal medical provider. Your provider can test you for the commonly occurring infections and if negative, may test you for COVID 19 as this testing is now available through commercial laboratories. Please note that Pitt County Health Department is not routinely offering COVID 19 testing; however, we can help your provider decide if it’s right for you.
As this situation evolves, additional testing options may become available. For more information, please continue to visit the dedicated Coronavirus Information Page of our website at: www.PittCountyNC.gov/Coronavirus.
John L. Silvernail, MD, MPH
Pitt County Health Director