RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – Two of the three patients screened for possible coronavirus infection tested negative, meaning they don’t have the virus. The Virginia Department of Health says test results are pending for a patient in the Northern Region of the commonwealth, and the results are expected later this week.
Virginia has no confirmed cases of the virus at this time.
In a statement released Sunday afternoon, Virginia Department of Health officials said they were investigating three residents in the central and northern regions of Virginia who “meet both clinical and epidemiologic criteria for 2019-nCoV.”
According to the statement, two of the residents are from Central Virginia, while the other is from Northern Virginia.
Officials say the common coronaviruses can cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illness, like the common cold. Symptoms include fever, cough, and trouble breathing, and can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure.
This latest development broke just two days after the North Carolina Department of Health officials stated they were investigating a possible case of the coronavirus infection and five days after the CDC announced the first case in the country. The North Carolina patient was tested and was not infected with the virus.
There are more than 50 confirmed cases in 13 places outside of mainland China. There are at least five confirmedcases in the United States, in Washington state, California, Arizona and Illinois.
VDH officials are encouraging health care providers to ask patients about recent international travel and consider 2019-nCoV infection in patients who have traveled to Wuhan, China within 14 days of the onset of symptoms, including fever and respiratory symptoms.
The CDC says this is a serious public health threat, mostly because of the unknowns, but it continues to believe the immediate risk to the general public in the U.S. is low at this time.
With the recent rise of the respiratory outbreak first detected in Wuhan, China, VDH is reminding Virginia residents to take the precautionary steps to prevent respiratory illness:
- Get the flu vaccine
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Stay home when sick
- take flu antivirals as prescribed
WAVY News 10’s Stephanie Harris spoke with Doctor Robert Bradshaw from Eastern Virginia Medical School on Monday, who discussed who’s at-risk.
“The same things you’d want to protect against influenza… It’s just with this [in] particular, it’s people who travel who are at high risk. or if you had contact with somebody that was known to be a case,” Bradshaw said.
Sentara, the area’s largest health system, is held a system-wide meeting Monday afternoon to discuss their preparation and response plan for coronavirus.
Riverside Regional Medical Center on the Peninsula is meeting weekly with the health department, physician groups, urgent care and emergency departments and has added coronavirus information to its nurse line.
Bons secours tells 10 On Your Side they have also implemented protocols consistent with the CDC guidelines.
Stay on on WAVY.com for the latest updates.