Two Iowans are currently undergoing testing for Coronavirus following the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declaring a public health emergency for the entire U.S. on Jan. 31, according to a news release from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).
The county nor region where the people are being tested has been released. Beginning Feb. 5, the IDPH began posting statewide numbers of people being monitored, tested and confirmed cases updating the results every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The individuals undergoing testing have recently returned from travel to China and the testing being conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), according to the release. The results were not expected for several days and the individuals remained under isolation with public health supervision.
Being peak season for respiratory viruses, the release said it is expected many travelers returning from China could have common virus symptoms. Recommended action from the public is to treat Coronavirus like any other virus and wash hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes, stay home when sick and receive a flu shot.
Cases of the virus have been detected in the U.S. It is suspected the virus spreads among close contact the release states. The risk to the public remains low as influenza remains the more significant threat.
Risk of being diagnosed with Coronavirus is tied to travel to China, the release stated, but not to a specific ethnicity or group of people. Anyone who has recently traveled to China and feels sick with a fever, cough or has difficulty breathing is encouraged to seek medical care immediately. Before visiting the office, patients are encouraged to call ahead and tell the provider about the recent travel and severity of symptoms.
Currently four additional Iowans are being monitored for symptoms after returning from travels in China in the last 14 days, according to the IDPH website. Face masks are not recommended by the CDC for the general public at this time.