State health officials are monitoring two potential cases of coronavirus in New Hampshire.
The individuals developed respiratory symptoms after recent travel to Wuhan, China. They are in isolation and are undergoing testing, according to the state health department.
Note: This story has been updated.
One of those patients is being treated at Littleton Regional Healthcare. In a Facebook post, the hospital said the patient, a student from The White Mountain School in Bethlehem, arrived at the emergency room on January 23 with mild flu-like symptoms. According to the hospital, the student had traveled to Hunan, China and returned to the United States on January 6th. Hunan is approximately 250 miles southwest of the outbreak’s epicenter in Wuhan, China.
State Epidemiologist Benjamin Chan says samples from the two patients have been sent to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“I would expect that we would have test results back on these individuals by the end of the week,” said Chan. “Obviously, if they are positive, public health will engage in a more intensive investigation.”
Meanwhile, a celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year at the University of New Hampshire has been canceled amid concerns over coronavirus. The student group planning the event said in an email they decided to cancel at the advice of the Chinese Embassy.
Coronavirus can be transmitted person-to-person. Reported symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
While state health officials say the risk of coronavirus to New Hampshire residents is low, they have recommended that healthcare providers conduct travel screenings and isolate patients with fever or respiratory symptoms who report travel to the affected region of China.
“This is a rapidly changing situation, and we remain committed to providing timely updates to residents of New Hampshire and our health care providers,” said Chan.
So far, five cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the United States.