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Officials identify Indiana's first potential coronavirus case



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Passengers from United flight UA850 direct from Beijing arrive Jan. 24 at Terminal 5 at O'Hare International Airport. According to a Jan. 28 statement on the Porter County website, officials identified someone traveling through Porter County as potentially infected with coronavirus. Tribune News Service

Update 9:44 p.m. Jan. 31

This person’s test results came back negative for coronavirus, according to a statement from the Porter County Health Department on Friday. The person’s condition improved, and the person was discharged. There is no further risk to the public in the area at this time.

Original story

Officials identified someone traveling through Indiana's northern Porter County as potentially infected with coronavirus, according to a Tuesday statement from the Porter County Health Department. IU has not announced any cases of coronavirus on campus as of Wednesday night.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will perform laboratory tests on the person in Porter County, according to the statement. The person has been placed in isolation and is under medical supervision.

The coronavirus originated in December in Wuhan, China, according to the CDC website. The disease has killed at least 162 people in China, according to CBS. It’s unclear how easily the virus is spreading. As of Wednesday, cases of coronavirus had been identified in Illinois, Washington, California and Arizona, as well as 19 countries.

The IU Office of Public Safety & Institutional Assurance sent a public safety advisory Tuesday urging people to follow the CDC advisory and to avoid nonessential travel to China. Several IU students were told to return from their Chinese flagship capstone programs in China by Feb. 5 due to the coronavirus outbreak. University administration and campus health officials are working with local health departments, the Indiana State Department of Health and the CDC to continue to closely monitor the ongoing outbreak, according to the advisory.

People with a fever, cough and shortness of breath should contact their primary health care provider or the campus health center if they have traveled to Wuhan or if they were in close contact within the last 14 days with someone who is either under investigation for coronavirus or who has a confirmed case, according to the advisory.

The largest health concern on campus remains common influenza, according to the advisory. The Office of Public Safety & Institutional Assurance offered tips to help prevent the spread of illnesses. They include staying away from sick people, staying away from others if sick, washing hands often with soap and water, covering coughs and sneezes, getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, getting flu shots annually and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces frequently.

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