The first person in New York City has been identified for testing for the novel coronavirus. This means they had recently traveled from China and presented with fever and cough or shortness of breath without another common cause, like influenza and other cold viruses, identified on testing. The individual, who is under-40-years-old, has been hospitalized at NYC Health + Hospital/Bellevue and is in stable condition. Testing to determine whether this is a confirmed case of the novel Coronavirus will take a minimum of 36-48 hours and depends on CDC testing capacity.
“An individual with a travel history to China felt unwell and sought help from a medical provider who promptly contacted the Health Department. This is exactly what we prepared for and we thank everyone for taking all the right steps,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “Reports of the first person being tested in New York City demonstrate that the system is working as intended.”
There are now eight confirmed cases in the United States and over 12,000 worldwide. At least 259 people have died.
The novel (new) coronavirus is a strain of coronavirus that has not been previously detected in humans. This novel coronavirus can lead to symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath. While some infections have resulted in severe illness, and even death, others have presented with milder symptoms and been discharged from care.
The Health Department is continuing to monitor the evolving worldwide situation daily, including the latest data on transmissions, incubation, new cases, and guidance. The Department has distributed educational materials so that people have the facts about how to protect themselves and their families, what to do if they feel unwell and have a travel history to affected areas, and other important information about this disease. The Health Department has conducted outreach and is providing guidance to local community-based organizations and health care providers serving our communities to inform them of the necessary precautions they need to take if someone with symptoms of coronavirus visits them.
For those who feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and traveled to Hubei province China—or been in contact with a confirmed case nCoV— within 14 days of symptom onset, CDC recommends:
- Seek medical care right away. Before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about recent travel and symptoms.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Do not travel while sick.
- Cover mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
For more information about the coronavirus, visit the Health Department website at nyc.gov/health.