PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and the Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) have confirmed a person in Maricopa County has been diagnosed with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
The patient is said to be a member of the Arizona State University community, lives in Tempe, but does not live in university housing. ADHS officials said the person had recently returned from travel to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the illness.
"MCDPH and ADHS are currently investigating to identify any close contacts that may have been exposed while the person was infectious," the statement from ADHS read. "Any individuals who have been identified as having been exposed will be contacted directly. These individuals will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms in collaboration with public health and the university."
“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. Cara Christ, ADHS director. “There are simple daily precautions that everyone should always take to prevent the spread of diseases.”
While CDC considers this a serious #publichealth concern, based on current information, the immediate health risk from #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) to the general American public is considered low. https://t.co/Q6YyhdOKkz pic.twitter.com/6QaizkZ7Ar— AZ Dept. of Health (@AZDHS) January 26, 2020
According to ADHS, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms of the virus appear within two to 14 days after exposure and can include:
- Runny nose
- Difficulty breathing
With the flu and other respiratory diseases circulating in the community, public health officials are encouraging everyone to get a flu shot. Additionally, they are encouraging everyone to take the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are 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.
This is the fifth case of the coronavirus confirmed in the United States.