Health officials investigate possible case of coronavirus in North Carolina

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina health officials said a possible case of coronavirus is under investigation in the state.

A person who recently traveled to China passed through Wuhan City arrived at RDU International Airport on Thursday.

North Carolina Public Health Medical Epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore spoke to the media Friday afternoon saying the possible case of the virus is a “big concern.”

North Carolina health officials have been in close contact with the CDC, along with state and local health departments, in relation to coronavirus.

“The risk to the general public in North Carolina is low,” Moore said. “This was someone who was very aware of the situation, so when they developed symptoms they reached out during travel to their local health care provider.”

The patient presented mild respiratory symptoms and is currently in good condition and being cared for in isolation at Duke University Hospital.

Duke University Hospitals released a statement that read in part:

“Our infectious disease clinicians are following guidelines and recommendations set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a precaution. At this time, we are unable to confirm a diagnosis.”

– Duke University Hospital officials

“Although it is unlikely that this person was infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus, we are conducting testing out of an abundance of caution,” said Moore. “If you haven’t traveled to Wuhan in the past two weeks, your risk of infection with this virus is very low.”

The person did not have close contact with anyone after disembarking at the airport in North Carolina and wore a mask the entire time while at the airport.

The person was transported directly to the hospital from RDU for assessment and care using appropriate infection prevention measures.

People who were at RDU or the hospital at the same time as this individual was present are not considered at risk for infection.

Moore said this strain of coronavirus had never been seen before the end of 2019.

“Because it’s new, there’s not a lot know about its symptoms,” Moore said.

Multiple deaths have been connected to this version of the coronavirus.

RDU posted about the possible case of coronavirus.

“RDU continues to work with public health experts regarding the release of information about this case. The CDC is the agency responsible for determining health screening protocols at airports,” the Airport posted.

CBS 17 will update this story.

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