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North Carolina identifies second case of coronavirus

State health officials say a man from Chatham County traveled to an area in Italy that now has a coronavirus outbreak.

CHATHAM COUNTY, N.C. — North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services confirmed a second person has tested positive for coronavirus in our state. 

NCDHHS said a second person, unrelated to the first case in Wake County, tested positive for COVID-19. The test was conducted by the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health and will be confirmed by the US Centers for Disease Control. 

The person is doing well and is in isolation at home. 

State health officials say the man from Chatham County flew from Raleigh-Durham International Airport in late February to an area in Italy that now has a COVID-19 outbreak. He had two days of mild, flu-like symptoms while in Italy. His fever resolved and symptoms were improving, and he flew back to the United States the following day. The man came in contact with another person who is a presumptive positive case out of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Health notified North Carolina health officials.  

RELATED: Facts Not Fear | What you need to know about the COVID-19 outbreak

Chatham County Public Health Department officials conducted a home visit and collected specimens, which came back presumptively positive for the virus. The person will remain in isolation at home until follow-up tests are negative. His wife is under quarantine. 

Health officials say the CDC will identify close contacts on the person's flight who may be at risk. 

Governor Cooper held a press conference on Friday to discuss the latest case as well as the state's efforts in combating the virus. He said the state is in need of coronavirus test kits, and health officials are waiting on those test kits from the CDC.

COVID-19 is currently not widespread in North Carolina. Health officials say you should wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and cover your coughs and sneezes to prevent the spread of germs. 

FACTS NOT FEAR

Remember facts not fear when talking about the coronavirus. You should take the same measures recommended by health leaders to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses. That means washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and covering coughs and sneezes.

RELATED: Facts Not Fear | What you need to know about the COVID-19 outbreak

NC CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE

Last month the state formed a task force to support the state’s ongoing effort to monitor the coronavirus.

State actions include:

  • Aggressively pursuing containment strategy of rapid identification, testing, and contact tracing.
  • Engaging in daily collaboration with federal, state and local partners to ensure rapid response.
  • Mobilizing resources for our providers, local public health system, local emergency management, and others.
  • Developing detailed response plans for multiple sectors for a range of scenarios.
  • Developing guidance for planning for multiple sectors for a range of scenarios.
  • Preparing healthcare providers and facilities to streamline and standardize response activities.
  • Activating a Joint Information Center to provide timely information.
  • Testing patients in the NC State Laboratory of Public Health.
  • Leading regular calls with local health departments, hospitals, and local emergency management.
  • Providing guidelines for health care providers, child care, employers, schools, colleges and universities, and others.
  • Monitoring residents who have returned from China through local health departments.
  • Staffing a COVID-19 phone line to answer urgent questions from the public.
  • Maintaining an up-to-date website with information about COVID-19 disease, risk, and guidance.

WHERE YOU GET INFORMATION ABOUT CORONAVIRUS IS IMPORTANT 

It is important to make sure the information you are getting about the coronavirus is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC and NCDHHS. Be careful not to spread misinformation about coronavirus on social media. 

For more information visit the CDC OR NCDHHS

NC CORONAVIRUS HOTLINE 

The state also has a special hotline set up where you can call 866-462-3821 for more information on the coronavirus. You can also submit questions online at ncpoisoncontrol.org or select chat to talk with someone about the virus.

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