No coronavirus in Delaware resident, state says

DOVER — An individual in Delaware believed to have possibly contracted coronavirus has tested negative, the Division of Public Health said.

The agency said this week test results from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed the person does not have the virus. No one else in Delaware is currently suspected of carrying it, per DPH.

The virus, which was first identified in Wuhan City, China, in late 2019, has infected thousands of people in China. It has also traveled elsewhere in the world, including the United States.

The CDC reported the first confirmed instance of the virus spreading from person to person on Thursday. More than 360 people have died in China from the virus.

“We continue to learn more about this new emerging virus every day. It is important to emphasize that this situation and the response are rapidly evolving,” DPH Director Karyl Rattay said in a statement. “We continue to coordinate closely with the CDC, as well as with our local health care providers to monitor for potential cases. We will continue to keep the public updated as new information becomes available.”

According to the CDC, the risk to the general public remains low, and only individuals who have recently traveled to China or come in contact with someone who is ill are at increased risk.

Symptoms of the virus, formally known as 2019-nCoV, are most similar to lower respiratory infections, including a fever, coughing and shortness of breath. There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for the virus, although many infected individuals recover by getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of water and taking over-the-counter medications to help relieve symptoms.

Because Delaware is in the middle of flu season, with nearly 3,000 cases statewide, most people are at greater risk of contracting seasonal influenza than coronavirus.

Individuals should take general precautions similar to ones they would take for the flu, such as getting the flu vaccine, staying away from sick people, covering a cough or sneeze and washing hands often.

The U.S. Department of State issued a travel advisory on Friday urging U.S. citizens not to travel to China due to the ongoing situation. Anyone considering a trip to China should keep an eye on the news and travel advisories and be aware of this evolving situation.

If you have visited China recently and have become ill, call ahead to your health care provider to discuss concerns and next steps.

If at any point laboratory testing confirms a case of coronavirus in a Delaware resident, the available details and protective recommendations will be shared with both the affected parties and the public as quickly as possible, DPH said. For more information on 2019 novel coronavirus, visit https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph.