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UPDATED Jan 31, 2020 at 10:20 AM
Health officials are closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (termed “2019-nCoV”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which continues to expand. As of Jan. 31, six cases have been confirmed in the United States. No cases have been confirmed in Michigan. Three individuals in Washtenaw have been tested; two of these tests have come back negative; and one is still pending results. All testing is currently done at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Given the number of specimens being tested nationally, no specific turnaround time is available, but results are expected within several days.
All cases being investigated in Michigan have presented with mild illness. One individual remains isolated in Washtenaw County, pending test results. The Health Department is monitoring this individual and any household contacts for fevers or additional symptoms twice per day. The individuals who have tested negative are released from isolation and monitoring.
Anyone who has traveled to China in the last 14 days and has symptoms of respiratory illness should seek medical care. Please contact your health care provider by phone before going to their office or to an urgent care or hospital.
It is unclear how easily the virus is spreading between people at this time. Signs and symptoms of this illness include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. The most up-to-date information on the situation is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html.
See https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/novel-coronavirus-china for updates. If you traveled to China in the last 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should:
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people such as has been seen with MERS and SARS. When person-to-person spread has occurred with SARS and MERS, it is thought to have happened via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. Spread of SARS and MERS between people has generally occurred between close contacts. Past MERS and SARS outbreaks have been complex, requiring comprehensive public health response.
This situation may change quickly as we learn more about how easily this new virus does or doesn’t spread between people. As of Jan. 31, the Washtenaw County Health Department does not consider contact with someone who recently traveled to China or Wuhan but is not sick a risky or potential exposure. You CANNOT tell if someone has a risk of spreading novel coronavirus by what they look like. As a reminder, it’s flu season and good prevention strategies are recommended for everyone to help reduce the spread of germs: