Recent testing at Iowa’s State Hygienic Laboratory has indicted three presumptive positive cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in more than one Iowa resident.
According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, all cases involve residents from Johnson County.
One individual is a middle-aged adult between the ages of 41 and 60 years old. Two individuals are older adults between the ages of 61 and 80 years old.
Two of the individuals had underlying health conditions, and one did not.
None required hospitalization and are recovering at home in isolation.
Coronavirus was first linked to an outbreak in Wuhan, China. However, cases have been identified in several other countries, including the United States.
These are the first identified cases in Iowa, and confirmatory testing is pending at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Iowa Department of Public Health Medical Director and State Epidemiologist Dr. Caitlin Pedati says all three individuals were part of a cruise in Egypt and advises Iowans take proper precautions to avoid contracting and spreading the disease.
“IDPH is working with local public health to assess potential exposures to others,” said Dr. Pedati. “These cases are an important reminder that all Iowans need to help prevent the spread of illness by washing hands frequently, staying home when ill and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue.”
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says the State of Iowa is coordinating plans across state agencies, including a partial activation of the State Emergency Operations Center, to protect the health of Iowans.
“While these are the first cases, it may not be the last, and it’s why Iowans must continue to practice safe habits like hand washing and staying home from work when sick,” said Governor Reynolds. “My team is engaged through the President’s Coronavirus Task Force — led by Vice President Mike Pence, as well as the nation’s governors — to work collaboratively to limit the spread of COVID-19.”
Flu respiratory and disease season is currently underway, and the Iowa Department of Public Health recommends getting the flu vaccine, as influenza activity is widespread in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Public Health says as long as flu viruses are circulating, it’s not too late to get vaccinated.
More information about coronavirus is available here.
A 24/4 public hotline has also been established for Iowans with questions and concerns regarding the virus and can be reached by dialing 2-1-1.