The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) announced Wednesday that it is monitoring an Ohioan who potentially has the coronavirus, the highly contagious respiratory illness that has killed almost 600 people in China.
ODH sent tests to the CDC and expects the results soon to see if the person has the virus.
No new information will be released about the patient under investigation.
Last week, the ODH investigated two Miami University students who had recently traveled to China for the coronavirus, but tests came back negative.
As a state, Ohio remains at low risk to the coronavirus, according to the ODH press release.
“This is part of public health’s ever-present work to balance public interest with the privacy rights of our individual citizens,” said Amy Acton, MD, MPH, director of ODH. “We are committed to ensuring they receive proper, compassionate care and to preventing any possible spread of infectious disease.”
Furthermore, Acton said Ohioans should not let fear dictate their actions towards sick people.
“Ohioans are known for treating one another, as well as visitors, with acceptance, respect, and understanding,” she said. “Whether someone is ill or well, a traveler or not, they deserve to be afforded the same kindness. Please keep this in mind as we learn more about 2019 novel coronavirus.”
On Wednesday, the ODH started a new process for sharing information about the coronavirus in Ohio. The department will update numbers twice a week about confirmed cases and people under investigation.
To date, the coronavirus has 12 confirmed cases in the United States that appear to be related to the recent outbreak in Wuhan, China. Almost 300 Americans have been tested for the coronavirus, CDC numbers show. States with confirmed cases of the virus are Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington and Wisconsin.
Right now at the epicenter of what officials warn could accelerate into a full-blown pandemic, CBS News reports more than 28,000 people under examination.
Last week, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global health emergency.
The ODH says symptoms for the illness include fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing.
Here is a list of things ODH recommends people can do to prevent the spread of any virus, including the coronavirus:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- 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 throw the tissue in the trash.
– – –
Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Star News Digital Media. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected]