UPDATED Feb 5, 2020 at 11:00 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. Multiple cases have been confirmed in the U.S. No cases have been confirmed in Michigan. Three individuals in Washtenaw were tested; all of these tests were negative.
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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.
All testing is currently done at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Current testing criteria includes:
- Fever or lower respiratory illness (coughing, shortness of breath) AND travel history to Hubei Province within 14 days of symptom onset.
- Fever or lower respiratory illness (coughing, shortness of breath) AND travel history to mainland China within 14 days of symptom onset.
- Fever or lower respiratory illness (coughing, shortness of breath) AND exposure to a laboratory-confirmed 2019 Novel Coronavirus case.
Information on Traveler and Airport Screening
Individuals returning from China now enter the U.S. through one of 11 airports, including Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW). CDC staff are screening individuals for symptoms consistent with coronavirus and providing information or instructions.
For more, see travel notices regarding China: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/novel-coronavirus-china. And, information for travelers from China arriving in the U.S.: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/from-china.html.
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. Currently, 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:
- Wash hands well and often
- Cover your cough
- Stay away from others when sick
Further Michigan information:
Further information from the CDC: