Dothan, Ala. (WBRC) -- The first case of the coronavirus was confirmed in the U.S. on Monday. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) says it is in close communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concerning this new virus.
The CDC says it is closely monitoring an evolving outbreak caused by the coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Chinese authorities first identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in more than 300 confirmed infections in China and several deaths reported.
ADPH states that symptoms of the respiratory virus include cough, difficulty breathing, fever and, in some patients, life-threatening pneumonia. Information about the illness is limited.
Healthcare providers in Alabama are asked to conduct screening of patients seeking care for influenza-like illnesses with travel to Wuhan, China, in the past 14 days prior to illness, and contact ADPH and CDC for consultation and guidance. County health departments are posting signs cautioning the public experiencing these or any flu-like symptoms not to enter these facilities. People with these symptoms should instead contact a physician, urgent care center, or hospital emergency room for screening and care.
Investigations are ongoing because this is a rapidly evolving situation.
The confirmation that some limited person-to-person spread with this virus is occurring in Asia raises the level of concern about this virus, but the CDC continues to believe the risk of the coronavirus to the American public at large remains low at this time. ADPH will update information as it becomes available.