Person in Montana being tested for novel coronavirus
A person in Gallatin County, Montana, is being evaluated at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital after becoming ill following travel to mainland China
February 11, 2020
A person in Gallatin County, Montana, is being evaluated at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital after becoming ill following travel to mainland China and will be tested for the novel coronavirus.
It's the first reported person under investigation for the virus in Montana, according to the state Department of Public Health and Human Services.
The Gallatin City-County Health department emphasized that the person is being tested and monitored, but has not been diagnosed with the virus. Results from testing, done by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are expected sometime this week.
Novel coronavirus is the cause of a respiratory illness outbreak that was first detected in Wuhan, China.
In the United States a total of 12 people have tested positive for the virus, according to the CDC, out of 398 cases under investigation.
None of the confirmed cases have occurred in states bordering Wyoming. Cases have been confirmed in Washington, California, Arizona, Wisconsin, Illinois and Massachusetts.
About 42,500 cases of the virus had been confirmed globally by Monday, and more than 1,000 people have died, with the majority in mainland China.
Jim Murphy, the state health department's Communicable Disease Control and Prevention bureau chief, said Monday the state has been notified by federal health officials of about 15 people with a recent travel history in China and is working with those people to monitor their health.
Matt Kelley, the health officer with the Gallatin City-County Health Department, said Monday the risk to people in the county and state is very low, but that he wanted to make information public to avoid the spread of rumors or confusion.
“We wanted to share with people who were expressing concern the information we have and we wanted to do that in a consistent way and in a widespread way,” Kelley said.
Kelley said five people in Gallatin County who have recently traveled to China are working with the state and local health departments to be monitored.
The person who is being tested went to the Bozeman hospital after becoming ill. The hospital is taking special precautions to protect employees and others, Kelley said.
"This is the first person that we’ve been monitoring that has shown the symptoms," Kelley said.
The risk to anyone in the county remains very low.
"The exposure of this person is really small and we don't even know what is making this person ill," Kelley said. "The things we would tell people in Gallatin County today are really the same things we would have told them last week — take care of yourselves and take the same precautions that you take for influenza."