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Virginia Dept. of Health monitors 3 residents for possible new strain of coronavirus

The patients 'meet both clinical and epidemiologic criteria' for testing at the CDC.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Virginia Department of Health is investigating three residents in the central and northern Virginia area who meet the criteria of testing for the new strain of coronavirus, health officials said.

Two of the residents undergoing testing are in central Virginia, one is in northern Virginia. 

Starting Monday, the Virginia Department of Health said it will post the number of Patients Under Investigation who meet the criteria for virus testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the VDH coronavirus website. 

The respiratory outbreak was first detected in Wuhan, China caused by a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). 

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.

The VDH is reminding Virginians of steps to take to prevent respiratory illness. These steps include:

  • Getting a flu vaccine
  • Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Staying home when you're sick
  • Taking flu antivirals as prescribed

The VDH recommends travelers to China to avoid contact with sick people, dead or alive animals, animal markets and products that come from animals like uncooked meat. 

The CDC has issued a travel warning to avoid nonessential travel to Hubei Province, China -- including Wuhan. 

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