Feb. 5, 2020 By Kristen Torres (Updated)
A day after the Health Department announced that a patient at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan had tested negative for the novel coronavirus, officials said they are still awaiting the test results of two individuals in Flushing hospitals.
The two patients in the Queens hospitals, both who have recently been to China and are over the age of 60, were admitted to Flushing Hospital Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Queens last week. They are the second and third patients under investigation for coronavirus in the city.
The city named two additional patients this afternoon who are undergoing investigation for the deadly virus. The total subject is now five.
The first person suspected of having the illness was admitted to Bellevue Hospital last week after exhibiting signs of a fever and cough shortly after visiting mainland China.
That patient tested negative for the illness on Tuesday.
“We’re relieved to hear that the person in question does not have the novel coronavirus,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.
“I can’t say this enough: if you have the symptoms and recent travel history, please see your health provider immediately,” he added.
Samples of patients suspected of having the novel coronavirus are sent to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for testing—the timing of results depends on the CDC’s testing capacity.
There are 11 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in the U.S. and more than 20,000 worldwide. Nearly 500 people have died from the virus, according to the World Health Organization.
Health officials continue to urge people to take precautions, such as washing their hands frequently and covering their mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.
“We are continuing to work closely with our partners at the CDC, State and federal government as the coronavirus situation evolves,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot in a statement.
“If you have traveled to the area affected by the outbreak in the last 14 days and feel unwell, call your doctor or visit a clinic, and you will be cared for,” she added.