Confirmed case of coronavirus in West Virginia is routine, not dangerous

Published: Jan. 27, 2020 at 1:31 PM EST
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A case of coronavirus has been confirmed in West Virginia, but there is no reason to panic.

"The coronavirus is a common virus that's seen throughout the year but commonly in the winter," said Roane General Hospital Chief Clinical Officer Julie Carr. "It's transmitted by contact with others through sneezing or coughing, so it's important to practice good hand hygiene (and) good cough etiquette."

According to the WVDHHR, the case of coronavirus was confirmed in a patient at Roane General Hospital, but it is not the dangerous strain linked to the outbreak from China.

Officials say the case is routine. The patient has no travel history to China.

Health officials say most coronaviruses are not dangerous. It is a common virus that infects the nose, sinuses, or throat.

"We have plenty of cases of coronavirus and it manifests just like the common cold," said Dr. Thomas Rushton of St. Mary's Medical Center. "It's been around, it's a human pathogen (and) generally speaking, it's not that big of a deal."

Carr says there are multiple strains of the virus but only four common strains found in the United States. The patient at Roane General Hospital had one of the four.

"There's two other strains that cause more severe illness but the common winter illness we see from coronavirus are four common strains," Carr said. "That's what's being seen in the United States."

However, there are at least five confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus in the U.S. That strain of coronavirus has sickened thousands and killed at lest 80 people in China. Despite its impact in China, the CDC maintains that the risk to Americans is low.

The five patients who've been confirmed had all recently returned from Wuhan, according to the CDC.