A second person is being tested for the coronavirus in Maryland, after the first person tested negative last week.
The new virus continues to sicken and kill people, largely in China where cases were first discovered. It has crept into other countries, and there are now 11 people who have tested positive in the United States. Health officials have been preparing for more.
The state health department has not released information about the people being tested or where they are located. The first person tested was in isolation at home.
The health department would not say whether the second person being tested for the virus, which causes respiratory symptoms, is at home or in a hospital. All hospitals in the state are prepared to quarantine patients, and those considered particularly sick could go to a specially prepared Biocontainment Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Other measures have been taken across the country to try and stave off the coronavirus, a family of viruses that includes SARS, MERS and the common cold. Most people with the virus have been travelers, but since the virus has been found to transmit from person to person, anyone coming from China is subject to inspection and quarantine to prevent further spread.
China also has instituted extreme travel restrictions, but cases continue to emerge outside of the country. There are now cases reported in 28 countries, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are almost 21,000 cases reported globally and 427 deaths, and the World Health Organization has declared the virus a global public health emergency.
Health officials continue to say the threat in Maryland is low. They recommend taking the same precautions as recommended for flu, which includes washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when sick. Also, they have said flu, another unrelated virus, is widespread in Maryland and across the country and it’s not too late to get a flu shot.