A patient at Hackensack University Medical Center was evaluated for possible infection with the coronavirus that has caused worldwide concern of a possible epidemic, but does not have the disease, the hospital announced.
“After an evaluation of the patient and consulting with the New Jersey Department of Health, experts have determined the patient does not have the Wuhan coronavirus,” said in a statement issued by hospital hospital spokesperson Nancy Radwin.
The patient, a 25-year-old woman, was transported to the hospital by the Edgewater Emergency Medical Services, according to EMS sources. No information was available about whether the patient had traveled from China, or what her symptoms were. During the period while information was being gathered about the patient, the hospital followed strict infection control measures as a precaution, a spokesman for the state Health Department said.
A Health Department spokesperson said the department had consulted with the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) “and it was determined the patient did not meet CDC criteria for testing.” To be tested, the department said the patient must have a fever of 100.4 degrees or more, symptoms of lower respiratory illness such as a cough and shortness of breath, and have traveled from the central city of Wuhan, China within the previous two weeks or had close contact with a person under investigation for infection with the virus while that person was ill.
This virus has sickened more than 800 people in China, most in Wuhan, where the disease is said to have originated in an animal market. It has spread to other Chinese cities and other Asian countries by people who have traveled to Wuhan. Fifty-six deaths have been reported in China, mostly among people with underlying medical conditions. The respiratory illness coronavirus causes can lead to pneumonia.
Last week, the CDC confirmed the first case in the United States, in a resident of Snohomish County, Washington who had returned from a trip to Wuhan. A Chicago woman who returned from caring for her sick father in China earlier this month has been diagnosed with the virus but is said to be stabilized and “clinically doing well.” Two cases have been confirmed in California, and one in Arizona.
In addition to the five confirmed cased in the U.S., Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is monitoring 110 possible coronavirus cases across 26 other states.
Also testing negative for coronavirus is a student at Tennessee Tech university in Cookeville, Tennessee. And Texas A&M University officials say that a student who had returned from a visit to Wuhan is reportedly being evaluated for coronavirus. The student has very mild symptoms and is being quarantined at home, according to a Brazos County health official.