CDC testing person who passed through Nassau for coronavirus

Posted: Updated:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is testing a person who spent time in Nassau County for the coronavirus, the virus that has infected more than 1,200 people in China, killing 41.

“There's a case that the CDC or state, that passed through Nassau, decided warranted testing, but I don't have any risk to the community or hospitals at the time,” Nassau Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein.

Nassau officials say doctors and hospital staff throughout the county are ready should they need to deal with any suspected cases of the deadly coronavirus.

In a news release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there is a total of four people throughout New York state currently "under investigation" for the coronavirus. They are in isolation as their cases are being tested by the CDC.

So far, there are two confirmed cases of the virus in the United States: one in Washington state and one in Chicago.

MORE: France confirms 3 cases of virus from China, 1st in Europe

“We have over 1,000 medical reserve corps volunteers that we could activate if we need to active them,” said Ann Desimone, of the Nassau Health Department.

Public health officials ask that residents not just show up at the emergency room. If a person is sick and meets the criteria set by the CDC, officials ask that the person call their health care provider first.

“If people are sick, we don't want them showing up and exposing an emergency room,” Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein said.

Doctors say the symptoms are similar to the flu and include runny nose, headache and fever. Under the CDC criteria for testing, one must also have traveled to China or been in close contact with someone who was. Nassau County Executive Laura Curran emphasized that there is no need to panic.

“There are no confirmed cases at this time in Nassau County. We just want our residents to know we are prepared, our staff is ready to go with whatever should emerge,” Executive Curran said.

The CDC recommends that individuals avoid all nonessential travel to Wuhan, China, where the outbreak started.

The CDC is also conducting entry screening of passengers on direct and connecting flights from Wuhan, China to five major airports, including John F. Kennedy International Airport.


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