Edit: a previous rendition of this article stated that nine people have tested positive for coronavirus in Virginia. The correct number is eight.
LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. -- At least eight people have tested positive for the new coronavirus in Virginia. That's according to an announcement Tuesday from state officials.
The latest cases confirmed by the state Department of Health were one resident of Loudoun County in northern Virginia and two residents of Virginia Beach.
Most people don't suffer much from COVID-19, but it can cause severe illness in the elderly and people with existing health problems.
The Loudoun patient is in their 40s, county officials said.
That resident is believed to have come in contact with someone with COVID-19 while attending Christ Church, Georgetown in Washington, D.C.
Health officials said the resident is “doing well” and isolated at home.
The Virginia Department of Health announced a couple from the Virginia Beach region also tested "presumptive positive."
A male in his 60s and female in her 50s traveled on a Nile River cruise, which recently reported COVID-19 cases. They returned to United States on March 5. On Sunday March 8, the patients were tested at a Virginia Beach hospital, according to WTKR.
The positive test results are considered a presumptive positive, pending confirmatory testing by the CDC.
All reported cases in Virginia have been travel related and there is no evidence of community transmission of COVID19 in Virginia, the VDH said.
“We know the risk of coronavirus disease—or COVID-19—increases among close contacts of infected persons,” said Loudoun County Health Department Director David Goodfriend, MD, MPH. “In this case, based on the results of our contact investigation to date, the risk to the general Loudoun community remains low.”
— Cam Thompson (@CamThompsonCBS6) March 10, 2020
The third person who tested positive is a resident of Arlington County in their 60s who developed fever, cough and shortness of breath after having returned from international travel.
The fourth case is a woman in Fairfax who is the spouse of a person who tested positive on March 7.
The fifth presumptive positive case is a resident of Spotsylvania County in their 50s who developed fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness. In a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can cause death, particularly among those who are older or who have chronic medical conditions.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Virginia health officials reminds individuals to take the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.