No cases but state continues to monitor coronavirus

DOVER — While there remains no cases of the 2019 coronavirus in Delaware, the Delaware Division of Public Health is still working closely with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and local healthcare providers to identify potential cases, officials said Friday.

Two individuals are being monitored in the state but they are not sick and exhibit no symptoms consistent with coronavirus, according to a release from DPH.

Symptoms of 2019-nCoV are most similar to lower respiratory infections with patients having fever, cough and shortness of breath. There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. Many individuals infected with 2019-nCoV recover with rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and taking over-the-counter medications to help relieve symptoms.

DPH will begin reporting the number of returning travelers being monitored, as well as patients under investigation, on its website by Monday, Feb. 10, according to a DPH press release. Numbers will be updated every Tuesday and Friday afterward.

If at any point laboratory testing confirms a case of 2019-nCoV in a Delaware resident, the available details and protective recommendations would be shared with both the affected parties and the public as quickly as possible, according to the release.

Officials said that risk is based on exposure, and only those individuals with recent travel to China or those who had contact with someone who recently traveled and is ill have an increased risk of becoming ill.

All travelers who are not sick or experiencing symptoms arriving from mainland China outside of Hubei Province will be monitored by DPH for symptoms for 14 days after their return.

Asian American/Pacific Islander individuals are at no higher risk of carrying the 2019 novel coronavirus than any other individual, the release stated.

“You are much more likely to become sick with a common cold virus or flu than to be diagnosed with the 2019 novel coronavirus,” DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said in a prepared statement. “Since the start of the flu season, there have been nearly 3,000 diagnosed cases of flu and we just learned of the seventh flu death this season in Delaware. Our Delaware residents of Chinese descent are important members of our community and are not at an increased risk for spreading the coronavirus.”