A novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019, and recently spread to additional countries, including the United States. The South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) would like to remind clinicians to ask about travel history for all patients presenting at clinics and hospitals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidance for the evaluation of individuals experiencing mild to severe respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) with a travel history to Wuhan, China.
To date, nearly 8,000 cases and 170 deaths related to the novel coronavirus have been reported in China. CDC has identified five U.S. travel-related cases, one case of person-to-person transmission linked to a travel-related case, and placed 165 persons under investigation. While those numbers are expected to rise, the CDC reiterates that the risk to the general public remains low. The State Department and CDC implemented additional passenger screenings at 20 U.S. airports and will provide virus information cards to all passengers coming into the U.S. from China. In addition, the White House yesterday announced the formation of a novel coronavirus task force.
Please see the information below for pertinent updates and links:
- There are currently no cases of novel coronavirus in South Dakota.
- Clinicians are requested to consult with the SD-DOH by calling 605-773-3737 or 800-592-1861 when evaluating a person who has:
- Fever AND symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) AND symptom onset within 14 days of travel to Wuhan, China (or close contact to a confirmed case of novel coronavirus or person under investigation for infection with novel coronavirus).
- January 24: The second U.S. case of novel coronavirus has been identified in Illinois in a traveler who returned from Wuhan, China.
- January 24: CDC issued a Level 3 Travel Notice – Avoid Nonessential Travel.
- January 21: The first U.S. case of novel coronavirus was identified in Washington state in a traveler who returned from Wuhan, China.
- January 17: CDC issued guidance to healthcare providers that defines who should be considered a person under investigation, how to report suspect cases, which specimens should be collected and tested, and what infection control practices are recommended while evaluating an individual.
- General information about the novel coronavirus can be found on the CDC website
- 2019 Novel Coronavirus Toolkit
South Dakotans can take the following precautions to avoid illness:
- Contact your medical provider if you become ill after international travel.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze (with a tissue or into your sleeve).
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Wash hands often with soap and water (or alcohol-based hand gel).
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Follow CDC’s Travel Health Notices if you are traveling internationally.