HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There are more possible cases of coronavirus in the United States.
There was concern that it had reached the tri-state area, but a New Jersey hospital confirmed late Thursday night that a patient there does not have the virus, CBS2’s Jessica Layton reports.
Hackensack University Medical Center released the following statement: “After an evaluation of the patient and consulting with the State Department of Health, experts have determined the patient does not have the Wuhan Coronavirus. Due to patient privacy, we are unable to provide additional information.”
The local concern follows days of worry after the outbreak began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, prompting police there to barricade roads, block access to trains and patrol the airport.
In fact, China’s lockdown now encompasses more than 20.5 million people as it attempts to contain the spread of the respiratory illness that so far has sickened 830 people and killed 25.
Most cases are in China, where Lunar New Year events are being canceled, but the virus is in seven other countries: Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States.
A man in Washington State has been quarantined after testing positive for coronavirus this week. There’s a possible case in Los Angeles, and on Thursday, we learned a Texas A&M University student may also be infected.
“The patient had traveled to the area of concern, developed mild symptoms after returning and was improving and doing well,” said Dr. Eric Wilke, with the Brazos County Health Authority. “The patient is in isolation ”
In serious cases, the virus can cause pneumonia and kidney failure. Sarah Henry, of the Museum of the City of New York, has studied the history of how the area handles epidemics.
“The systems of detection and quarantine and containment at the points of entry is really, really important,” she said.
JFK Airport has been screening passengers coming in from Wuhan for almost a week. Henry believes if coronavirus were to show up in New York, the city is ready.
“New York has a very robust public health system, so emergency protocols, an incredible system of hospitals, both private and public, and an incredible amount of medical knowledge,” she said.
On Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will be meeting with local health officials, the NYPD and the FDNY to talk about the city’s emergency response plan just in case coronavirus does land in New York City.