A second North Carolina person, unrelated to the first case in Wake County, has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), according to a news release from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
The test, conducted by the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health, is presumptively positive and will be confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab. The person is doing well and is in isolation at home.
The man, from Chatham County, traveled in late February to an area in Italy that now has a COVID-19 outbreak. He had two days of mild, flu-like symptoms while in Italy. His fever resolved and symptoms were improving, and he flew back to the United States the following day. This person was a contact to a case in Georgia and the Georgia Department of Health notified North Carolina health officials.
Chatham County Public Health Department officials conducted a home visit and collected specimens, which came back presumptively positive last night. He has been cooperative and is in home isolation until follow-up tests are negative.
The Chatham County Public Health Department will work to identify close contacts to monitor symptoms. Since the person had been symptomatic before travel, the CDC will identify close contacts on the flight thought to be at risk and notify the appropriate public health agencies.
While awaiting confirmation of results from the CDC, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will treat presumptive cases as positive and follow CDC guidelines to protect public health and limit the spread of infection.
The Wake County person traveled to Washington and was exposed at a long-term care facility where there is currently a coronavirus outbreak.
North Carolinians with questions or concerns about COVID-19 can call the COVID-19 phone line toll-free at 866-462-3821. This helpline is staffed by the North Carolina Poison Control 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.