Health officials investigating possible case of coronavirus in Brazos County, Texas

BRYAN, Texas -- The Brazos County Health District is investigating a suspected case of coronavirus in southeastern Texas.

Authorities say the patient traveled from Wuhan, China, where coronavirus originated, within the last 14 days.

Texas A&M University confirmed Thursday afternoon that the patient is a student at the university. They say the situation is low-risk for the campus community.

Health care providers say they "were aware of public health guidance on novel coronavirus and quickly recognized that the patient met the criteria for coronavirus testing."

In a press conference, Brazos County Health Authority Dr. Eric Wilke said the patient has mild symptoms and is showing signs of improvement.

He described the patient as a student in his 20s to 30s.

Wilke said the patient took himself to a Bryan/College Station-area emergency room when he began noticing symptoms.

Officials say a sample has been sent to the CDC in Atlanta for testing, and they should have results within 24 hours of testing.

They say if this is a confirmed case, contact tracing will begin and all potential contacts will be monitored for symptoms.

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The health district says if there is a confirmed case, they will promptly announce it.



This is not the first possible case of coronavirus in the United States.

A passenger who landed at Los Angeles International Airport Wednesday night was hospitalized for a precautionary medical evaluation amid increased concerns over coronavirus.

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ABC News reports it's unclear if the passenger, who arrived on a flight from Mexico City, has coronavirus or what symptoms were exhibited.

This development comes a day after Los Angeles County public health officials said it was "very possible'' the area will see at least one patient, given the number of people traveling between Southern California and China.

Los Angeles officials said, so far, there have been no local cases of the China-based coronavirus. But they note that with the Lunar New Year holiday, travel from China may be at increased levels now.

In addition, with flu season in full swing, health officials reminded people to take the precautions they should observe every year at this time.

The first travel-related case in the United States was announced Tuesday, in a person from Washington state who had recently traveled to Wuhan, China. There have been at least 17 reported deaths in China associated with the virus, with more than 550 people infected with the new coronavirus in Wuhan.

According to the CDC, coronavirus can be spread among people through the air by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact such as shaking hands and touching a surface with the virus then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Symptoms of coronavirus include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and sore throat.

Children, older adults and people with weakened immune systems may be subject to more severe symptoms, including death.

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