WHEELING, WV –Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department is monitoring two county residents who recently returned from China.  The health department is taking this action out of an abundance of caution.  This action is in response to the recently released federal guidance concerning monitoring US citizens who have recently returned to the US from China and the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

At this time, neither resident is considered a case and no testing has been done.  Both individuals are under self-quarantine (at home) and will be monitored by health department for 14 days.   The individuals visited Hong Kong, which as since been excluded from monitoring, although part of mainland China it is considered low risk for the novel coronavirus.

One of the individuals did attend a local elementary school in Ohio County for part of the morning on Monday, February 3, 2020.  The individual has no signs or symptoms and was picked up from school before later in the morning.

The self-quarantine is being done as a precaution due to the recently release federal guidance and not because of symptoms or evaluation as a suspected case.  The quarantine and monitoring are out of an abundance of caution and no additional action is needed from the community or school.

The Wheeling- County Health Department is coordinating with State Health Officials, Wheeling Hospital, area schools and first responders to communicate Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) messaging regarding the novel coronavirus aimed at area residents who have recently returned from China.

CDC issued a health alert on Saturday updating its guidance on dealing with the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), that began in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. This update provides guidance to clinicians and public health officials on how to deal with individuals in their communities who have recently returned from China.

CDC is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan in late 2019. There have been thousands of confirmed cases in China and additional cases have been identified in a growing number of other international locations, including the United States.

As of February 3, there were eleven confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US. So far, U.S. cases have been in Washington state, California, Arizona, Illinois, and Massachusetts.

Symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to other upper respiratory illnesses. They include fever, a cough and shortness of breath.

On Sunday, the US Department of Homeland Security issued a statement saying that US citizens who have been in Hubei province within 14 days of their return will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine. US citizens who have been in other areas of mainland China within 14 days of their return will undergo proactive entry health screening and up to 14 days of self-quarantine with health monitoring to ensure they do not have the virus.

For more information contact the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department at 304.234.3682 or visit our website at www.ohiocountyhealth.com.