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Test results of 3 possible Michigan coronavirus cases return negative

A new Chinese coronavirus, a cousin of the SARS virus, has infected more than 200 people since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December. Scientist Leo Poon, who first decoded the virus, thinks it likely started in an animal and spread to humans.
A new Chinese coronavirus, a cousin of the SARS virus, has infected more than 200 people since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December. Scientist Leo Poon, who first decoded the virus, thinks it likely started in an animal and spread to humans. (CNN)

DETROIT – Test results on three possible cases of coronavirus in Michigan have returned negative, according to state health officials.

The cases were in Washtenaw County and Macomb County. Officials say a fourth possible case from Washtenaw County has been sent to the CDC for testing.

“We are pleased to announce that the results were negative from Michigan’s first three patients under investigation,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “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.”

At this time, the only approved testing for 2019 Novel Coronavirus is available at the CDC. The MDHHS State Laboratory is facilitating the transport to CDC of any Michigan specimens that have been approved by MDHHS and CDC for testing. The CDC is working with the Federal Drug Administration and state public health laboratories to make testing more broadly available.

Given the number of specimens being tested nationally, no specific turnaround time is available, but results are expected within several days.

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.

2019 Novel Coronavirus 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.


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