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Two being tested for coronavirus in New Hampshire

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 1/27/2020 5:27:05 PM
Modified: 1/27/2020 10:05:33 PM

WEST LEBANON — Two people in New Hampshire who recently traveled to Wuhan city, China, have developed respiratory symptoms and are being tested for novel coronavirus, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

The two patients, who are recovering from a mild form of respiratory illness, are being isolated until their test results are available, DHHS said in a Monday news release. One patient is being treated at Littleton Regional Hospital and the other at Concord Hospital, according to DHHS spokesman Jake Leon.

If testing confirms a case of novel coronavirus in New Hampshire, state officials will alert the public.

“The risk to our communities in New Hampshire is low, but we want to identify people who may be infected with this new coronavirus in order to prevent spread,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan said in the release.

There are no suspected cases in Vermont, according to Vermont Department of Health spokesman Ben Truman. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed five cases of the novel coronavirus, which was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China and has caused an outbreak of pneumonia. The U.S. cases are in four states — Arizona, California, Illinois and Washington — and the CDC is testing more than 100 additional individuals across the U.S. 

Public health officials in both New Hampshire and Vermont are asking healthcare providers to alert state officials if they identify patients who have traveled to Wuhan and who become ill with fever or respiratory symptoms within 14 days of travel.

“This is a rapidly changing situation, and we remain committed to providing timely updates to residents of New Hampshire and our health care providers,” Chan said in the release.

Dartmouth College Health Service also has a post on its website stating that “the immediate health risk from (coronavirus) to the general American public is considered low at this time.” 

The Dartmouth post also links to the CDC update: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html and also to a CDC travel alert that urges U.S. travelers to avoid making unnecessary trips to China: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/novel-coronavirus-china

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