ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — State Department of Health officials say four people in New York are under investigation for novel coronavirus, and that they are being isolated while their cases are being tested at the CDC.
Officials say one of these cases has been proven negative while the other three are still pending.
Although authorities say the risk for New York is currently low, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is still calling for increased vigilance to ensure protections against the virus.
“As we learn about the first confirmed cases of this novel coronavirus in the United States and potentially in New York, I want to assure New Yorkers that we are prepared,” Cuomo said in a press release. “We are undertaking a wide-reaching and rigorous effort with all stakeholders, including healthcare providers, airports and federal health officials, to put in place the appropriate precautions to keep New Yorkers safe. The symptoms of this virus are very similar to a common cold, if you are concerned that you might be ill, please follow our guidance to protect yourself and others.”
Rensselaer County is taking precautions as well, they plan to expand monitoring for cases throughout the county, according to County Executive Steve McLaughlin. McLaughlin said the county Health Department will also be monitoring the situation and working with state officials as more information becomes available. He went on to say that health officials will continue to ask participants in the health clinics offered by the county their recent travel history.
“This virus is being carefully monitored at federal, state and city levels to ensure the public’s health and safety, and while awareness is important, the current risk to New Yorkers is low,” said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “People who have traveled abroad recently and have symptoms that mimic the flu should see their doctor. We are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control to receive daily updates and stand ready to assist.”
Symptoms of the novel coronavirus may include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- A general feeling of being unwell.
CDC officials recommend that people avoid all nonessential travel to Wuhan, China. Additionally, health department officials say certain everyday proactive measures can help stop the spread of the virus, including:
- 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 throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.