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Coronavirus test results come back negative for Porter County, Indiana, patient



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An illustration of a coronavirus strain. The possible coronavirus case in northwest Indiana has been confirmed negative. Illustration by Carson TerBush

The possible coronavirus case in Porter County in northwest Indiana has been confirmed negative, according to a Friday statement from the Porter County Health Department.

The person met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel history and physical symptoms criteria for a coronavirus investigation Jan. 27, according to the statement. The person was hospitalized, isolated and tested. The person’s condition improved, and the person was discharged Friday.

There is no further risk to the public in the area, according to the statement. If another possible case occurs, the same protocol will be followed.

Officials do not know how the virus is spreading, but it originated in Wuhan, China, in December. The virus has killed more than 200 people, and about 9,800 infections have been confirmed, according to the New York Times.

The IU Office of Public Safety & Institutional Assurance sent a public safety advisory Friday suspending travel to China for students, faculty and staff in light of the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency. 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.

IU will offer a webinar from noon to 12:45 p.m. Monday for people to learn about how the university handles these situations and how to receive support. Representatives from the Environmental Health and Safety department, the IU Health Center and the Office of International Services will speak.

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 being monitored for coronavirus or who has a confirmed case, according to the university's public safety advisory.

Common influenza remains the largest health concern on campus, according to the advisory. The Office of Public Safety & Institutional Assurance offered tips to help prevent the spread of illnesses.

The tips 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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