Here’s what we know about the first case of coronavirus in Arizona
PHOENIX — Coronavirus has made its way to Arizona, with the state’s first case being confirmed on Sunday.
The patient, a Maricopa County resident and member of the Arizona State University community who lives in Tempe, recently traveled to Wuhan, China, the center of the outbreak.
It is one of only five confirmed cases in the United States. All confirmed cases had recently traveled to Wuhan.
Arizona Department of Health Services director Dr. Cara Christ told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the risk for the illness to spread is fairly minimal right now despite its infiltration into the state.
“The general public who hasn’t traveled to China at this point or is in close contact with somebody who is confirmed or under investigation for coronavirus, the risk to get it is relatively low at this time,” Christ said.
Christ added that the health department isn’t yet sure whether the patient, who has been placed in isolation, gave the illness to others.
The individual has a mild case of coronavirus and hasn’t needed to be hospitalized, according to Christ.
“We were able to obtain testing and send it to the CDC,” Christ said. “It did come back positive and now public health will be monitoring the case, possible close contacts and for others signs and symptoms.”
Symptoms of coronavirus are very similar to that of the flu, Christ said.
The virus can cause fever, coughing, wheezing and pneumonia. It is a member of the coronavirus family that’s a close cousin to the deadly SARS and MERS viruses that have caused outbreaks in the past.
While CDC considers this a serious #publichealth concern, based on current information, the immediate health risk from #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) to the general American public is considered low. https://t.co/Q6YyhdOKkz pic.twitter.com/6QaizkZ7Ar
— AZ Dept. of Health (@AZDHS) January 26, 2020
It’s been a busy flu season — Christ said more than 12,000 confirmed cases — so personal accountability will be a big factor in preventing the spread of coronavirus.
Christ said to wash your hands, avoid touching your face and to stay home if you’re feeling sick.
More information about the illness can be found on the health department’s website.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Julie Levin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.