Virginia Department of Health investigating 3 potential cases of coronavirus

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Travelers wear face masks as they walk outside of the Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. China reported Monday a sharp rise in the number of people infected with a new coronavirus, including the first cases in the capital. The outbreak coincides with the country’s busiest travel period, as millions board trains and planes for the Lunar New Year holidays. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – The Virginia Department of Health is investigating three potential cases of the coronavirus.

In a statement released Sunday afternoon, Virginia Department of Health officials say they are currently investigating three residents in the central and northern regions of Virginia who “meet both clinical and epidemiologic criteria for 2019-nCoV.”

According to the statement, two of the residents are from Central Virginia, while the other is from Northern Virginia.

Officials say the common coronaviruses can cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illness, like the common cold. Symptoms include fever, cough, and trouble breathing, and can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure.

This latest development broke just two days after the North Carolina Department of Health officials stated they are also investigating a possible case of the coronavirus infection and five days after the CDC announced the first case in the country.

VDH officials are encouraging health care providers to ask patients about recent international travel and consider 2019-nCoV infection in patients who have traveled to Wuhan, China within 14 days of the onset of symptoms, including fever and respiratory symptoms.

With the recent rise of the respiratory outbreak first detected in Wuhan, China, VDH is reminding Virginia residents to take the precautionary steps to prevent respiratory illness:

  • Get the flu vaccine
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Stay home when sick
  • take flu antivirals as prescribed

This is breaking news from our sister station WAVY and will be updated constantly.

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