Governor Lamont Announces Second Connecticut Patient Tests Negative for Coronavirus

This article was published on: 02/2/20 2:44 AM by Mike Minarsky

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirm that a second Connecticut patient that has been under investigation for coronavirus has tested negative. This patient was a high school student from China participating in a conference at Yale University in New Haven.

Earlier this week, a Wesleyan student in Middlesex County who was the first patient in the state under investigation for possible exposure also tested negative for the virus. Both patients have tested positive for Influenza Type A. So far, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Connecticut and no other patients in the state remain under investigation at this time.

As the World Health Organization yesterday declared coronavirus to be a global health threat, Governor Lamont has directed state public health officials to continue to closely monitoring the outbreak.

“We want to make sure we are providing all of the most recent information to Connecticut residents so they are aware of ongoing developments as this global health concern continues,” Governor Lamont said. “We ask that people not panic, but take possible symptoms seriously. The CDC is advising that many of the symptoms reflect those that we usually see when someone has the flu. If you experience any of these symptoms, please get treated sooner rather than later.”

“This is good news for Connecticut that the second patient has tested negative,” Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Renée Coleman Mitchell said. “We continue to be vigilant and coordinate a proactive response with local health and medical providers across the state. We are also in the height of flu season and we recommend residents take extra person precautions to avoid spreading the flu.”

In response to rising global concern, Governor Lamont and DPH have coordinated the following unified response:

  • Governor Lamont participated in a call with all governors across the country to coordinate a national response with the White House.
  • Earlier this week DPH convened a conference call with all Connecticut local health directors to provide guidance and coordinate a response.
  • DPH also convened a conference call with all hospitals in Connecticut to provide critical updates and ongoing guidance.

Connecticut is also at the height of respiratory virus season. Influenza activity in Connecticut is widespread. A total of 1,036 influenza-associated hospitalizations have been reported in the state since the beginning of the 2019-20 season. A total of 23 influenza-associated deaths have been reported in Connecticut since the beginning of the 2019-20 season.

The CDC believes that symptoms of coronavirus may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. No vaccine or specific treatment for the infection is available, however care is supportive. When person-to-person spread has occurred with MERS and SARS, it is thought to have happened via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, like how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. Spread of SARS and MERS between people has generally occurred between close contacts.

Symptoms of the coronavirus may include:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • A general feeling of being unwell

Everyday preventative actions can help stop the spread of this and other respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when sick to avoid exposure to others.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern or have been in contact with somebody who has traveled to these areas should call ahead to their healthcare provider before presenting for treatment.

The most recent guidance from the CDC about the outbreak is available here.

For information about DPH’s updated flu statistics, click here.

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