Health officials: Two people in Oklahoma test negative for coronavirus

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Health experts in Oklahoma say two people who were being watched for coronavirus have tested negative for the virus.

Earlier this week, officials with the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced they were working with health care providers and federal partners to test two people who met certain criteria to be tested for possible novel coronavirus.

On Friday, health experts say they received word from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the two patients tested negative for the coronavirus.

At this point, there are no other persons in Oklahoma who meet the established criteria for testing.

Oklahoma State Department of Health Commissioner of Health Gary Cox said the risk to the general public is low, but the agency will continue to be vigilant about any spread of the virus.

“We appreciate the work of the OSDH Acute Disease Service and the CDC for working quickly to confirm there are no cases of the Novel Coronavirus in our state,” said Cox. “The public should be assured that OSDH will continue monitoring and engaging the multidisciplinary coordinated response team which is formulating response plans as the situation evolves and stands ready to protect Oklahomans.”

Health experts say there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from the virus:

  • The public should rethink any unnecessary plans to go to China.
  • If you’ve returned from China, watch for symptoms of the flu.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Avoid contact with ill people.
  • Stay home if sick.

The symptoms of the coronavirus are similar to the flu including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Officials stress that the coronavirus seems to be spread among people with closer, prolonged contact with patients.

So far, more than 100 people have died from the coronavirus and more than 6,000 other patients have been infected with the virus across the globe. Most of those cases are from mainland China, where the virus was first detected in December.

On Monday, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a level 3 alert warning against “all nonessential travel to China” — its highest alert on a scale of 1 to 3.

“There is an ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that can be spread from person to person,” the CDC said in a statement, warning “there is limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas.”

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