On Sunday, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) confirmed a Maricopa County resident has been diagnosed with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
According to an ADHS press release, the person recently returned to the US from Wuhan, China.
According to the release, the not-seriously-ill patient, a member of the Arizona State University community who does not currently live in university housing, is now in isolation to keep the illness from spreading.
The Maricopa County Department of Health (MCDPH) and ADHS are currently investigating to identify any close contacts who may have had exposure with the infectious resident.
“Any individuals who have been identified as having been exposed will be contacted directly,” ADHS officials said. “These individuals will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms in collaboration with public health and the university.”
Officials said the 2019 Novel Coronavirus spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms can appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, runny nose, and difficulty breathing. Also, individuals at risk are those with travel to Wuhan, China, or individuals in close contact with an infected person.
ADHS said there are currently no commercial testing or vaccine available, and public health is working with the CDC to test those exposed by the virus.
“While the immediate risk of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus to the general public is believed to be low at this time, ADHS and our county public health partners will continue to actively monitor for the disease,” said Dr. Christ, ADHS director. “There are simply daily precautions that everyone should always take to prevent the spread of diseases.”
Amidst the emerging cases of the Coronavirus, public health officials are advising residents to do the following to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses like this one, including the flu:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Stay home when you’re sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Additionally, ADHS is encouraging anyone who has recently traveled to Wuhan, or has been in contact with someone with the symptoms of the virus, which includes fever, cough, or shortness of breath within 14 days of travel, to stay home and call their healthcare provider right away.
“If you do not have a healthcare provider, you may need to be seen at your local hospital emergency room/urgent care center,” ADHS officials noted.
Last month, Chinese authorities first diagnosed the Coronavirus outside Wuhan City. Thus far, the virus, with common cold and flu-like symptoms, has infected at least 1,975 people and killed 56. Officials have also confirmed five cases in the United States, including California, Illinois, Washington, and now Arizona. The CDC said more US cases are likely.
For the latest information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, visit azhealth.gov/coronavirus.