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Health department confirms first case of coronavirus in Arizona

(Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health Services on Sunday confirmed the first case of coronavirus in the state.

The patient is a Maricopa County resident and a member of the Arizona State University community who recently returned from traveling in Wuhan, China, the department said in a press release.

ADHS added that the person, who does not live in university housing, is not severely ill and is currently in isolation to keep the illness from spreading.

The department, along with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, is investigating whether the patient exposed the illness to anybody else.

Symptoms of coronavirus appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing.

There is currently no vaccine for the illness, which has infiltrated several countries and states over the past month.

There have been only five confirmed cases in the United States. All confirmed cases had recently traveled to Wuhan.

ADHS is asking anyone who recently traveled to Wuhan, China, and developed a fever with a cough or shortness of breath to immediately call a healthcare provider.

“While the immediate risk of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus to the general public is believed to be low at this time, ADHS and our county public health partners will continue to actively monitor for the disease,” ADHS director Dr. Cara Christ said in the release. “There are simple daily precautions that everyone should always take to prevent the spread of diseases.”

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

To help contain the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases spread through respiratory droplets, including the flu, health officials have issued the following recommendations:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Refrain from touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Don’t make close contact with sick individuals.
  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue away.
  • Clean and disinfect objects that are frequently touched.
  • If someone in your family tested postive for COVID-19, keep that entire household at home.
  • Recommendations to cancel or postpone mass gatherings of 10 or more people

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