DHHS Investigating Possible Case Of Coronavirus In NC

Jan 24, 2020

UPDATE 9: 50 a.m., Jan. 26

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports that a person who was being tested for the new 2019 coronavirus is not infected with the virus.

The NC DPH was investigating a possible case of coronavirus in a person who traveled through Wuhan City in China before arriving at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Thursday.

The person had mild respiratory symptoms and is currently in good condition while being cared for in isolation at Duke University Hospital, according to a DHHS news release. The Division of Public Health is arranging for testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- the only place that currently is available to test. A diagnosis cannot be confirmed until DHHS receives results.

According to DHHS, the person passed through Wuhan in China, but did not visit the seafood and animal market that was linked to many early cases.

"I think it's appropriate to be concerned and to be paying attention, but the risk to people in North Carolina at this point in time is very low," said Dr. Zack Moore, State Epidemiologist. 

DHHS said the person did not have close contact with anyone after disembarking at the airport, wore a mask while at the airport, and was transported directly to the hospital from Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

There currently have been just two cases of coronavirus in the United States -- one in the Seattle area and another in Chicago.

-- WFAE's Claire Donnelly contributed reporting.