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Maryland resident being tested for new strain of coronavirus

Currently the state has no confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV.

MARYLAND, USA — The Maryland Department of Health confirmed Monday that a Maryland resident was being tested for Novel Coronavirus. The MDH reported that the individual met the CDC's criteria for testing, but is currently in good condition and being monitored. 

The respiratory outbreak was first detected in Wuhan, China caused by a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Maryland currently has no confirmed cases of this new strain of coronavirus, according to MDH. 

"The Maryland Department of Health is closely monitoring the rapidly changing situation with 2019 N-CoV, both in the U.S. and in China," MDH Deputy Secretary of Public Health Fran Phillips said. "As we learn more, Marylanders are encouraged to practice everyday actions to promote good health and to protect yourself and your loved ones from respiratory viruses like the coronavirus — wash your hands thoroughly, cover your cough and avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay home from work or school if you’re not feeling well." 

Common coronaviruses can cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illness, the VDH website said. Public health officials are still learning about 2019-CoV. Some who have become ill with coronavirus have had mild symptoms. Others have had more severe illness, including some deaths. 

The symptoms include fever, cough and trouble breathing, and can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure, the Virginia Department of Health said.

Scientists don't know how easily it spreads.

MDH suggested that Marylanders who had recently traveled to Wuhan, China, or other areas impacted by 2019-nCoV, should monitor for symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing for 14 days after their return.

They advised that if you do feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during that 14 days, you should:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. 
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

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