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Coronavirus: A Maryland resident is being tested for the deadly virus; Read on to know more

One resident in Maryland is being tested for the Coronavirus. Health departments warn people to stay aware of the deadly virus.
Coronavirus: A Maryland resident is being tested for the deadly virus; Read on to know moreCoronavirus: A Maryland resident is being tested for the deadly virus; Read on to know more
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A Maryland resident is being tested for the new coronavirus that has made many people ill and killed over dozens in an outbreak that began in and remains centred in China but has crept to other countries in recent days. The person or their location was not identified by the Maryland Department of Health, which said the patient is in good condition and being monitored while awaiting test results. Samples are sent to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing when the patient meets certain criteria, including showing respiratory symptoms and having travelled from China in the past two weeks.

The state’s deputy secretary of public health Fran Phillips said, “The Maryland Department of Health is closely monitoring the rapidly changing situation with 2019 N-CoV, both in the US and in China. As we learn more, Marylanders are encouraged to practice everyday actions to promote good health and to protect yourself and your loved ones from respiratory viruses like the coronavirus which includes washing your hands thoroughly, cover your cough and avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay home from work or school if you are not feeling well.”

The department emphasised that there are no confirmed cases in the state of this new coronavirus. Coronavirus is a family of pathogens that includes the common cold and other serious viruses such as SARS and MERS. There are more than 8,600 cases of the coronavirus mostly in China where the outbreak began and more than 80 have died. The CDC has said that Americans remain at low risk for infection from the virus. There are five confirmed cases in the United States, all being travellers. They are in California, Washington, Illinois and Arizona. The state health department has been receiving calls from the local health department for days, but no one until now had met the criteria to be tested.

Jennifer Schneider, a deputy director for disease prevention and management in the Anne Arundel County Department of Health, said there has not been anyone in the country who met the criteria to be tested, but officials are prepared for it. She said there are protocols for local health departments, which are likely to get the call from hospitals and doctors’ offices in their area when someone comes in with a suspected case. They coordinate with the state health department and the CDC to test the people. Schneider further added that the most important thing people can do now to protect themselves is to maintain good hygiene, including frequent hand washing and avoiding people who are coughing and sneezing, as well as staying home and calling for medical advice if they become sick. She also advised people to get a flu shot if they have not already. The influenza virus is not a coronavirus but is sickening far more Marylanders and Americans now.

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