WAKE COUNTY, N.C. — Five more people in Wake County have tested presumptively positive for COVID-19, or novel coronavirus, according to the NC Department of Health and Human Services.
All of the new presumptive positive cases traveled to Boston in late February to attend a BioGen conference. Several cases across the country have been tied to that conference, officials say.
Officials say the new cases are not related to the Wake County person who previously tested positive last week.
All are in isolation in their respective homes, health officials say.
The presumptive positive tests will be confirmed by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab.
Until then, the NCDHHS will treat presumptive positive cases as positive, following CDC guidelines to better protect public health.
COVID-19, a new coronavirus originating from China, has sparked global concern as the outbreak grows. While the risk to those in the U.S. still remains low, the Centers for Disease Control has recommended the American public prepare for the possibility of an outbreak.
According to the CDC, patients diagnosed with this coronavirus experience a mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Patients with severe complications from the virus often develop pneumonia in both lungs.
The virus is spread person-to-person. According to the CDC, the spread is happening mainly between people who are in close contact (within 6 feet) of each other via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets land on the noses and mouths of other people, who then inhale them.
The Wake County Public Health Division is working to identify close contacts with the individuals who tested presumptively positive. That means those who were within around 6 feet of a person with a COVID-19 infection for a prolonged period of time.
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