2019 Novel Coronavirus: Results of 2 Ohio tests come back negative

Published 8:30 am Tuesday, February 4, 2020

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Health, the Butler County General Health District and Miami University announced today that test results from two students at Miami University in Butler County for the 2019 novel coronavirus are negative. There are no other persons under investigation in Ohio.

On Monday, Jan. 27, the Butler County General Health District reported that two students who had recently traveled to China met CDC criteria for further testing and evaluation after exhibiting respiratory symptoms at the Miami University Student Health Services Center. The two students have been isolated since then.

“While we are pleased to announce these results are negative, we continue to remain vigilant. We are working closely with our local health departments and health care providers and will keep you apprised of this ever-changing situation,” said ODH director Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH. “It’s also important to remember that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the risk of the general U.S. population contracting the novel coronavirus is low.”

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The novel coronavirus is primarily spread through respiratory droplets, which means to become infected, people generally must be within six feet of someone who is contagious and have droplets land on them. Symptoms of coronavirus appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing. There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection.

To prevent the spread of any virus including novel coronavirus, practice these preventative measures:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

“We are deeply grateful to the Miami University administration and health care providers and the Butler County General Health District for their measured approach to this case, their proactive guidance and expertise and the compassionate care extended to these students while we awaited the CDC results,” Dr. Acton said. “Public health teams throughout the state work 24/7 to ensure the safety of Ohioans. We are prepared to address these emerging health issues.”

Like all people suffering illness, patients who may be affected by this virus should be treated with care and compassion. Be sure to quell actions that could perpetuate a stigma attached to 2019-nCoV.

For more information on novel coronavirus, please visit our website at www.odh.ohio.gov.