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No sign of coronavirus in South Dakota, amid growing number of U.S. cases

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — South Dakota officials say there’s no sign yet of a deadly coronavirus in the state.

But state and national officials remain vigilant amid a growing number of U.S. cases of respiratory illness caused by the virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, and is also called the novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV. The virus has sickened thousands, nearly all in China, and killed about 80 people there.

There are no South Dakota cases to report and no testing specimens have been sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, confirmed a spokesman for the South Dakota Department of Health on Monday.

On Sunday, the CDC reported a growing number of confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S., now numbering five patients in the states of Arizona, California, Illinois and Washington. All had recently traveled to Wuhan.

The CDC said it expects the number of confirmed cases to rise as it receives and analyzes specimens from around the country. On Monday, the CDC said it had slightly more than 100 “persons under investigation” from 26 states, with about a third testing negative for the coronavirus.

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No sign of coronavirus in South Dakota, amid growing number of U.S. cases 1

Minnesota health officials said Friday they had submitted specimens from two potential cases for further examination by the CDC. The Department of Health on Monday said both had tested negative.

While the CDC called the virus a “very serious public health situation,” officials on a Sunday media teleconference cautioned that the risk of catching the virus remain low.

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“While this is a serious public health threat, CDC continues to believe the immediate risk to the U.S. general public is low at this time,” the CDC stated in a news release.

About 2,800 people worldwide have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus and 8 have died, the World Health Organization reported Monday. Nearly all those sickened and killed are in China, but the virus has been found in 11 countries in 27 patients. All had traveled with China and most had visited Wuhan recently or had contact with someone who visited the city.

Tips to prevent influenza and reduce exposure to the coronavirus:

  • Contact your medical provider if you become ill after international travel;
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze (with a tissue or into your sleeve);
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth;
  • Wash hands often with soap and water (or alcohol-based hand gel);
  • Stay home if you are sick;
  • Follow CDC’s Travel Health Notices if you are traveling internationally.
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