NJ woman does not have coronavirus, hospital says
HACKENSACK — Doctors at Hackensack University Medical Center who examined a 25-year-old woman for possible exposure to Novel Coronavirus, which has killed 26 people in China, concluded she does not have the disease.
Hundreds of people have been infected with the new virus in China, which first appeared in Wuhan City, an industrial and transportation hub in the central part of the country. Other cases have been reported in the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand. Singapore, Vietnam, and Hong Kong reported their first cases Thursday.
The woman was brought to the hospital on Thursday night by Edgewater Emergency Medical Services, EMS sources told NorthJersey.com.
"After an evaluation of the patient and consulting with the State Department of Health, experts have determined the patient does not have the Wuhan coronavirus," hospital spokeswoman Nancy Radwin said in a statement. Radwin said additional information about the patient would not be revealed to protect her privacy.
The state Department of Health said it has developed surveillance criteria for healthcare professionals to help identify potential cases.
Initial symptoms of the virus can mirror those of the cold and flu, including cough, fever, chest tightening, and shortness of breath, but can worsen to pneumonia. The coronavirus family includes the common cold as well as viruses that cause more serious illnesses, such as SARS and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome, or MERS, which is thought to have originated from camels.
Health screening for passengers arriving from Wuhan City at 3 U.S. airports, including JFK International Airport in New York, will begin this weekend. Symptomatic travelers will be medically evaluated before being allowed to continue to their final destination. Screenings will also be done in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
New Jersey Sens. Cory Booker and Robert Menendez said in a letter to the CDC on Thursday that they want screenings to also be done at Newark Liberty International Airport, which they said was the nation's fifth busiest airport for international travel, according to the Office of Aviation Analysis.
The Wuhan outbreak is suspected to have begun from wild animals sold at a food market in the city. The market is closed for investigation.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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