Ohio health department monitoring possible coronavirus case, awaiting test results

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The Ohio Department of Health is monitoring a possible case of the novel coronavirus.

Samples have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing and results are expected in the coming days, according to the ODH.

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It is not clear where this case is. We have reached out to ODH for more details and will update this story as more information is available.

At this time, there are no confirmed cases of the respiratory virus in Ohio and residents remain at low risk.

The ODH said it is not releasing any additional personal information about the person under investigation for the coronavirus at this time.

“This is part of public health’s ever-present work to balance public interest with the privacy rights of our individual citizens,” said Amy Acton, director of ODH. “We are committed to ensuring they receive proper, compassionate care and to preventing any possible spread of infectious disease.”

The outbreak of the virus, 2019-nCoV, started in Wuhan, China, in December and has since spread to 24 countries, though the majority of cases are still being documented in China and the risk to the American public remains low.

The virus, 2019-nCoV, is part of a large family of different coronaviruses. These viruses may cause mild to severe respiratory illnesses with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Sometimes a novel — or a new type — of coronavirus starts to circulate among people. This happened with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 2014, and now 2019-nCoV.

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ODH also announced a new process for sharing updates.

Starting on Thursday, the department will post the number of any confirmed Ohio cases and persons under investigation on its website by 2 p.m.

It will be update on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Local health districts and persons under investigation will be notified of test results as they are received from the CDC.

The ODH website will update whether persons under investigation have tested positive or negative for the coronavirus on the website on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Acton asked Ohioans to continue to be compassionate with people who are sick.

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“Ohioans are known for treating one another, as well as visitors, with acceptance, respect and understanding,” she said. “Whether someone is ill or well, a traveler or not, they deserve to be afforded the same kindness. Please keep this in mind as we learn more about 2019 novel coronavirus.”