NYC Reports Fourth And Fifth Persons Under Investigation For Novel Coronavirus

February 5, 2020

A fourth and fifth person in New York City has been identified for testing for the novel coronavirus. This means they had recently been in China and presented with fever and cough or shortness of breath without another common cause, like influenza and other respiratory viruses, identified through testing. The individuals are both under 40 years of age. One has been hospitalized and the other did not have symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization. Per CDC guidance, that individual will remain under appropriate isolation precautions and daily monitoring by the Health Department. Testing to determine whether these are a confirmed case of the novel Coronavirus involves sending specimens to the CDC and will take a minimum of 36-48 hours and depends on CDC’s coronavirus testing capacity.

New York City is on high alert and prepared to handle any confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “My message to New Yorkers remains the same: if you have the travel history and are exhibiting symptoms, please see your health provider immediately.”

“This is exactly what we prepared for and is evidence that the system in place is working as it should,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Barbot. “We are fortunate that the test results from our first-person under investigation came back negative, but we expect to see more people presenting to health care facilities with symptoms of the novel coronavirus.”

There are now 11 confirmed cases in the United States and over 20,000 worldwide. Going forward, the Health Department will post New York City updates on the Department’s coronavirus page at 10:30 am Eastern Standard Time every weekday and issue a press release with updates weekly.

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 from coronavirus and other respiratory illnesses, 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 the novel coronavirus — 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

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