Person Who May Have Coronavirus In Isolation In Porter County


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Health officials in Northwest Indiana said they are keeping an eye on a person who may have contracted the coronavirus. 

The Porter County Health Department said a person who has been traveling through the county has been placed in isolation, suspected of having the coronavirus.

Officials have not said where the person had come from nor where he/she was going.

The CDC is awaiting lab results to determine if the person has coronavirus. 

The Indiana State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and the Porter County Health Department have placed the person in isolation out of an abundance of caution, the county health department said in a news release.

At least five cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the U.S. The second was confirmed in Chicago, officials announced Friday. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the patient is a female, Chicago resident in her 60’s. She traveled to Wuhan, China in late December, which is the epicenter of the outbreak. She flew back to Chicago on Jan. 13 and began experiencing symptoms a few days after arriving home, health officials said. The woman called her doctor after symptoms arose. She was admitted to a hospital and placed in isolation, health officials said. Further testing confirmed the virus. She has been reported to be doing well and is in stable condition. The woman remains hospitalized primarily for infection control, health officials said.

The first reported U.S. patient was a man in Washington state who fell ill after returning from a trip to China.

“CDC believes the immediate risk to the U.S. public is low at this time, but the situation is evolving rapidly,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health Dr. Allison Arwady reiterated that statement, saying this is a "single travel-associated case, not a local emergency...I can reassure you that even with this Chicago case, the health risk to the general public from novel coronavirus remains low at this time, both nationally and in Chicago.

"There is no need for the general public to change their behavior in any way, based on this news."

Meanwhile, the DuPage County Health Department said it is getting ahold of people who may have been exposed to a Chicago woman who was recently diagnosed with the virus.

Health officials released a statement that said they are engaging in "contact tracing" which is the process of identifying, assessing, and monitoring people who have been exposed to prevent onward transmission. The health department said it will be in direct contact with those people to monitor their health, and if necessary, quickly and safely ensure they receive appropriate medical evaluation and care.

DuPage health officials said anyone who has concerns about exposure to a person ill with coronavirus, or has traveled to Wuhan, China and is not feeling well, is encouraged to contact their healthcare provider and to call the DuPage County Health Department at (630) 682-7400.