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Michigan health officials investigating 3 possible cases of coronavirus

Potential cases in Southeast Michigan

U.S. airports take measures to prevent spread of coronavirus
U.S. airports take measures to prevent spread of coronavirus


Michigan health officials say they are investigating three potential cases of coronavirus connected to the outbreak in China.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says they have approved testing from three people -- two in Washtenaw County and one in Macomb County. Approved specimens will be sent to the CDC for testing.

“Given the number of specimens being tested nationally, no specific turnaround time is available, but results are expected within several days. Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly.”

All cases being investigated in Michigan have presented with mild illness. These individuals are self-isolating and local health departments are closely monitoring anyone who has been in close contact with them, MDHHS said.

“At MDHHS, we recognize the potential threat associated with this virus and are working to identify any suspect cases in Michigan,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “Our goal is to quickly identify individuals with the virus and prevent any potential spread. We encourage healthcare providers to remain vigilant in screening patients for symptoms and travel history, and to contact their local health departments immediately if they see a potential case.”

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses common among animals and humans. In rare cases, the virus can be transmitted from animals to humans. This novel coronavirus is a newly discovered version that has not been previously detected in animals or humans. The source is not yet known.

Novel Coronavirus 2019 has been identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan. Investigations are ongoing to learn more, but person-to-person spread of the virus has occurred according to CDC.

Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

CDC believes at this time that symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. If anyone believes that they have symptoms and have recently traveled to Wuhan, China, or have been in contact with someone who has had the virus, they should call their healthcare provider or hospital prior to arriving so that the appropriate preventive measures can be put in place.

Public health screenings for travelers from Wuhan have been implemented at five U.S. airports including Atlanta (ATL), Chicago (ORD), San Francisco (SFO), New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX).


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