Delaware Division of Public Health investigating possible case of coronavirus

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Wednesday, January 29, 2020
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DOVER, Delaware (WPVI) -- The Delaware Division of Public Health is investigating a potential case of the coronavirus.

Officials said Wednesday the patient is a Kent County, Delaware resident.

"After review of the patient's travel history and symptoms with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it was determined that testing should be performed. Test results are pending from the CDC, and are expected in the coming days," the Office of Health and Risk Communication said in a statement.

The patient is currently hospitalized in isolation. Officials said this is "out of an abundance of caution."

"There is no widespread risk to hospital staff or other patients as all appropriate protective precautions are being taken," the statement said.

Officials said that they consider any new infectious disease a serious concern, although the available information suggests a low immediate health risk to the general public.

"At this time, there are only a handful of individual cases in the U.S. Risk is based on exposure. As you know, we are in the heart of flu and respiratory disease season, and with more than 2,000 cases statewide, most people are at greater risk of contracting seasonal influenza than coronavirus," the statement said.

Officials said only those individuals with recent travel to China, or contact with someone who has had recent travel and is ill, have an increased risk for becoming ill.

"Based on what has been learned from past outbreaks - including outbreaks of related coronaviruses - we know that finding cases quickly and responding to them effectively is key. That rapid response helps ensure that the ill person receives the care they need, and it lessens the chance of other people getting sick. Fortunately, Delaware has a strong disease surveillance system in place that includes partnerships with hospital and clinic systems as well as local health care providers. We are coordinating closely with the CDC," the statement read.