Seven cases of the highly contagious coronavirus in New York has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and testing, the state Health Department announced.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Sunday, Jan. 26 that seven people have been identified for testing, with three coming up negative, and four still pending. There have been no confirmed cases in New York as of Monday, Jan. 27.
Health officials did not say where the New Yorkers being tested lived. The coronavirus has been linked to 56 deaths in China and has infected more than 2,700.
According to Cuomo, with travelers expected to begin returning to the country this week from Lunar New Year celebrations in China, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) has begun working with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to post multilingual signage about the virus at all four Port Authority international airports.
Last week the DOH issued guidance to healthcare providers, healthcare facilities, clinical laboratories and local health departments providing updated information about the outbreak, and ensuring protocols are in place if a patient is experiencing symptoms consistent with the novel coronavirus, had a travel history to Wuhan, China, where the novel coronavirus originated.
"While the experts still believe the risk of catching this novel coronavirus is currently low in New York, I want all New Yorkers to know we are prepared and continue to take all necessary steps to keep people informed and safe," Cuomo said. "I have directed the Department of Health and other state agencies to continue working closely with the CDC, the World Health Organization, our local and federal government partners, and New York's healthcare providers to ensure we stay ahead of this situation."
There is currently no vaccine for the coronavirus, though health officials said that “everyday preventative actions can help stop the spread of the virus, including washing hands, avoiding contact with people who are sick and frequently cleaning or disinfecting objects and surfaces.
Health officials noted that "since this virus is very new, health authorities continue to carefully watch how this virus spreads. It is probably spread from animals to humans, and it also may be spread from person to person. It's not clear yet how easily novel coronavirus spreads from person-to-person. It's important to know this in order to better understand the risk associated with this virus."
Symptoms of the novel coronavirus may include:
- Runny nose;
- Sore throat;
New York State Health Commissioner. Howard Zucker said, "We encourage all New Yorkers to take normal precautions against sickness, such as regular hand washing and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. We will continue to work with our partners at the CDC and are prepared to assist in any way necessary to ensure the health of New Yorkers."
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