KC Health Department monitoring nearly 10 people possibly exposed to coronavirus, not showing symptoms

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Health Department is keeping an eye on a handful of local residents who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

Dr. Rex Archer, the director of health, gave the update Wednesday at a city meeting. There are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Kansas City. 

"I am concerned, not worried," Archer said. "Everybody can take a deep breath and relax."

Archer did said they are monitoring nearly 10 people in Kansas City who might have been exposed, but are not showing symptoms. 

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He said those people are on home quarantine for 14 days after the possible exposure occurred. 

Archer and his team check on them twice a day to make sure they continue to not have symptoms. He said thousands across the nation are being monitored right now.

There are 15 confirmed cases in the U.S., and only two are cases of transmission within our country.

"We've had no other cases to date of somebody getting this disease in this country that wasn't in areas of risk unless they were spouses of somebody that had already become infected," Archer said.

He said he's more worried about people in Kansas City getting the flu than the coronavirus. 

Another big concern for Archer is funding, especially if a coronavirus outbreak happens in Missouri. 

"Unless we increase the Center of Disease Control's budget by about $4.5 billion, we're not gonna be able to protect our residents from outbreaks that start here," he said.

Archer said the best way to battle the flu or any infectious disease is by washing your hands and getting your shots. 

Archer's staff has spent more than 200 hours staying up to date on the coronavirus. He said they have sent five different notes on what to be looking for to health care providers in Kansas City. 

If an outbreak were to happen in Missouri, Archer said he has confidence in his team to handle the situation, but they need more funding. 

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