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Nassau coronavirus test comes back negative; no confirmed cases in state

A person wearing a face mask walks Monday

A person wearing a face mask walks Monday past the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan. Credit: JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

An individual with a suspected case of coronavirus who “passed through” Nassau County has tested negative, officials said Monday.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said four of the nine suspected cases from New York State have tested negative. Samples from the other five cases sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are still pending.

“These five individuals remain in isolation as their samples are tested at CDC,” Cuomo said in a statement released Monday afternoon. “While the risk for New Yorkers is currently low, we are still working to keep everyone informed, prepared and safe."

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, was first detected in Wuhan, China, at the end of December. Since that time, 80 people have died and 2,744 have been confirmed infected with the virus, according to health authorities in China.

There are five confirmed cases and no fatalities in the United States, according to the CDC.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, told reporters on a Monday conference call that 110 possible cases, known as persons under investigation, are being evaluated and tested from 26 states. Of those, five have tested positive, 32 tested negative and 73 are pending.

The virus can cause mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms that include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

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“At this time in the U.S., this virus is not spreading in the community,” Messonnier said. “For that reason, we continue to believe that the immediate health risk from the new virus to the general American public is low at this time.”

Sixteen countries have confirmed cases: China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, The Republic of Korea, United States and Vietnam, according to the CDC.

A Stony Brook University professor visiting family in Wuhan has been unable to return to the U.S. because of a travel lockdown imposed by the Chinese government in an effort to contain the outbreak, according to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), whose office has been trying to help him return.

Stony Brook officials declined to identify the professor and added they are evaluating whether to continue the school’s “Summer in Wuhan” scholarship program, which offers students the chance to take classes at the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law.

The CDC has been screening passengers at major airports, including JFK Airport, who recently have traveled to the area around Wuhan. The agency also has recommended that travelers avoid nonessential travel to China.

“I expect that in the coming days our travel recommendations will change,” Messonnier told reporters. “I cannot provide details on this yet.”

None of the suspected New York cases are from Suffolk, health officials in the county said.

The Nassau Department of Health said Monday its only suspected case was the individual who was “passing through” the county and since has tested negative for the virus. Officials declined to say whether the person was a local resident or just visiting someone in Nassau.

With the AP

Coronavirus update

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV

  • First detected in China at the end of December.
  • Can cause mild or severe respiratory illness.
  • Confirmed cases in the United States: 5.
  • Confirmed cases in New York: None.
  • Confirmed cases in 16 countries including the U.S.

SOURCE: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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