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NYC testing two more people for coronavirus

A subway rider wears a mask on Tuesday.

A subway rider wears a mask on Tuesday. Credit: Corey Sipkin

Two additional people in New York City are being tested for the 2019 novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of suspected cases across the state to nine, officials said Wednesday.

"As of today, samples from 21 New Yorkers have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing for the novel coronavirus," New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said in a statement. "Of those, 12 have come back negative. There are still no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in New York State."

The two additional individuals in the city are both under the age of 40, had recently been in China and had symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath and a cough. One of them has been hospitalized, according to the New York City Health Department.

Another person who had been at Bellevue Hospital with a suspected case of the virus was cleared after tests came back negative from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This is exactly what we prepared for and is evidence that the system in place is working as it should,”  New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said in a statement. “We are fortunate that the test results from our first person under investigation came back negative, but we expect to see more people presenting to health care facilities with symptoms of the novel coronavirus.”

The virus, known as 2019-nCoV, causes respiratory illness and was first detected in China at the end of December. There are now 24,554 confirmed cases and 500 associated deaths. While most of the cases and fatalities are in China, the virus has been found in more than two dozen countries. There are 11 confirmed cases and no deaths in the United States to date.

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