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Ducey: Arizona, federal authorities ‘coordinating’ on coronavirus case

FILE - This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Health authorities are preparing for a possible pandemic as they work to contain a respiratory illness in China that's caused by a new virus. Governments are working to contain the virus by limiting travel, isolating sick people and keeping travelers returning from the affected region under quarantine to watch for symptoms. (CDC via AP, File)


PHOENIX — The reported case of coronavirus by an Arizona State University community member sent some panic into the area last week, but Gov. Doug Ducey said the state is working with national officials to monitor the threat.

“We’ve got state and federal authorities that are coordinating on this so we can monitor the situation,” Ducey said to KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad on Monday evening.

“I would say the risk is low right now, but we’re not taking anything for granted.”

Some students wore face masks as precaution last week, but Arizona State University President Michael Crow said on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad that no additional cases had been reported in the area.

Coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, and has killed more than 300 people worldwide.

The Associated Press said the disease is a “close cousin to the SARS and MERS viruses,” which is something Ducey said the state has dealt with.

SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, originated in China in 2002. There have been no reported cases since 2004, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“We’ve seen it with SARS in the past,” Ducey said. “We’ve got one case reported here in the state of Arizona that’s positive and we’re going to continue to monitor it. It’s a top priority.”

Ducey said he is briefed each morning and afternoon on the coronavirus.

“Everyone wants to be prepared, everyone is concerned for the worst, we’re hoping for the best,” Ducey said.

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