The death toll still climbing in the coronavirus outbreak. The virus has already claimed the lives of more than one thousand people, with 14 confirmed cases right here in the U.S. 

Governor Cooper just announcing the formation of a special coronavirus task force aimed at preventing the spread of the virus in our state. 

The task force will be working with local and federal agencies to make sure the public is informed and safe. 

"We want to have the infrastructure ready in the event that there is a problem," Cooper said 

Right now, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Cabarrus, and Union County health officials monitoring several people who recently traveled to China. They will be watched for 14 days. 

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"Humans don't really have any immunity to it so there is a potential for greater spread," Atrium Health Infectious Disease specialist Anupama Neelakanta said. 

Cooper says the task force is meeting constantly will help monitor and contain the spread of the virus.

"We think the chance of people contracting corona virus in North Carolina is very low but we put this task force together to make sure we are aware of any trends that may be a potential problem," Cooper said.

It will also ensure North Carolinian's are getting accurate and up to date information.

Meanwhile, local hospitals are preparing for the worst.

"Atrium Health are taking steps to educate their front line staff so they are prepared" Neelakanta said. 

But here and now, there's a much bigger threat.

"There's so many more cases of flu and deaths of flu so that's something we need to pay more attention to" Neelakanta said. 

There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in North Carolina. 

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