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- 5th Michigan person being tested for coronavirus; had traveled to China
- The first line of defense against coronavirus: Try soap, not a mask
- As Michigan braces for coronavirus, H1N1 quietly makes a comeback
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020
An updated testing kit for the new coronavirus is expected to arrive in Michigan this week after the first testing kit was deemed defective. The first kit arrived Feb. 8 as part of a batch that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shipped throughout the United States three days earlier, said Lynn Sutfin, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The CDC-developed kit, which can test 700 to 800 specimens, can deliver test results in about four hours, according to the CDC.
Previously, all testing had been performed by the CDC. That meant suspected cases in Michigan were shipped by local health officials to the state lab in Lansing, which then forwarded the specimens to the CDC lab in Atlanta, Sutfin said. The shipping links meant specimens first collected in Michigan could take several days to yield results.
Results of five suspected Michigan cases were negative, and there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, in Michigan. Globally, there were 73,332 coronavirus cases, including 1,873 deaths, as of Tuesday, according to the World Health Organization’s daily update report. By far, most of the cases have been reported in China.
The CDC began sending CDC-developed laboratory test kits out to the states Feb. 5 to speed up detection of the virus. But the CDC then alerted labs that follow-up testing on the kits indicated that some of the kits manufactured for labs such as the one in Michigan might be flawed, leading to “laboratories not being able to verify the test performance.
The state lab expects a new kit this week, Sutfin said. The state lab will do testing and test only within the CDC guidelines for coronavirus. Those guidelines require an ill person with symptoms of coronavirus to also have traveled to China, or been in contact with someone infected with the disease, within 14 days of the onset of symptoms.
Meanwhile, a family from Onsted, Michigan, reportedly remains stuck in a Cambodian hotel, after their cruise ship remained quarantined for two weeks. Steve Muth told Michigan Public Radio his family was finally allowed to disembark, but now it has “sat for the last three days wondering what our future looks like.”
Monday, Feb. 10, 2020
State health officials were informed that test results were negative for an Oakland County resident who had been tested for coronavirus. There are no known cases of the deadly strain of coronovirus in Michigan.
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Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020
State health officials confirmed that a traveler to China from Oakland County was hospitalized and being tested for the coronavirus by the CDC. It was unclear when this person traveled to China, or where or how he returned to the U.S. Results are expected in the following week. This person was the fifth suspected case in Michigan, with the four previous people being cleared of having the illness.
Also Saturday, the death of a U.S. citizen, the first American death in the outbreak, was announced. This person, 60, died at Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, the center of the epidemic, according to U.S. government officials.
Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020
State health officials announced that a sick traveler at Detroit Metro Airport would not be tested for coronavirus, after all. The traveler, who a day earlier was sent by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and staff and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to an undisclosed hospital, did not meet the specifications for testing. The specifications include specific symptoms and travel history to China or exposure to someone with confirmed coronavirus illness.
The deadly new coronavirus — officially called 2019-nCoV — was first identified Dec. 31 after an outbreak of illnesses linked to a fish market in Wuhan, China.
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020
As with other respiratory illnesses, symptoms range from mild (runny nose, sore throat, cough and fever) to the very serious (pneumonia, breathing difficulties and death), especially for older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions, according to the World Health Organization, or WHO.
Coronavirus appeared to have arrived in the U.S. in mid-January when the first patient — a 35-year-old man who had visited Wuhan — was hospitalized in the state of Washington. In all, 11 cases have been confirmed in the United States, as of Tuesday, Feb. 4.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency on Jan. 31.
No cases have been confirmed in Michigan. The state’s health department sent four suspected cases to the CDC for testing in January, but each tested negative for coronavirus.
Monday, Feb. 3, 2020
The state health department activated its Community Health Emergency Coordination Center to respond to coronavirus should it spread to Michigan. Among its first steps: Conference calls to coordinate with local health departments.