Local coronavirus case under investigation

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan.  (KSNT) – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is investigating a possible case involving exposure to the novel coronavirus in a Douglas County resident.

Specimens will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing and KDHE expects to receive results later this week.

The patient is not severely ill and is currently in isolation at a hospital as a precaution. The patient returned to the U.S. within the last two weeks after traveling from Wuhan City, China, where an outbreak of 2019-nCoV has been underway since December 2019. The patient became symptomatic in recent days and sought healthcare Monday.

KDHE says while it has not confirmed this as a case of the 2019 novel coronavirus, we believe it is important to keep the public informed and educated on this new virus.

The 2019 novel coronavirus spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms are thought to appear within two to 14 days after exposure and consist of fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing.  

We are also advising residents that flu and other respiratory diseases are circulating in our state and are recommending everyone get a flu shot and follow basic prevention guidelines.

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and staying home when sick.

The best ways to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses are to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you have recently traveled to Wuhan, China and have developed fever with respiratory symptoms within 14 days of your travel or have had contact with someone who is suspected to have 2019 Novel Coronavirus, stay home and call your healthcare provider. You may also call the KDHE Epidemiology Hotline at 1-877-427-7317 if you believe you may have been affected.  

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