Kansas hospital investigating possible Wuhan coronavirus case

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WDAF/KSNF) — The Lawrence Memorial Hospital is investigating Kansas’ first potential case of coronavirus, according to a statement by the hospital.

The hospital recently received a patient with respiratory illness symptoms who had recently traveled to Wuhan City in the Hubei Province of China, which is where the coronavirus originated. The patient will be placed in an isolation room designed for infection prevention.

According to the statement, test results will not be available for “a number of days.”

The hospital will remain open at this time.

“As in all cases like this, LMH Health works closely with the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department to ensure we are appropriately prepared,” said Russ Johnson, LMH Health president and CEO. “Now, our efforts are focused on caring for this patient as we await test results.”

The coronavirus’ death toll has topped 100 in China. Infections have rapidly increased, and people sick with the virus have shown up in at least 17 countries.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman also released a statement about the issue.

Dr. Norman’s statement clarifies the patient is not severely ill, but had been sick for several days before seeking healthcare treatment Monday.

The 2019 novel coronavirus spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms are thought to appear within two to 14 days after exposure and consist of fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing.

Secretary Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE

KDHE suggests washing hands, covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing, and staying home when sick to help prevent the spread of illness.

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