Coronavirus ...

(Illustration courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control)

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is investigating reports of two illnesses that could be associated with the coronavirus, and one is in Southwest Virginia.

In a summary report Wednesday, the VDH said one potential coronavirus (COVID-19) case is in Northern Virginia and the other in Southwest Virginia, but no confirmation has yet been reported.

A Person Under Investigation (PUI) is an individual who meets both clinical and epidemiologic criteria for coronavirus, the VDH said.

The VDH does not provide any more specific information on the location of the person.

Six prior possible cases in the state, three in Central Virginia and three in Northern Virginia, all were investigated and tested negative.

“VDH is closely monitoring and investigating reports…” the department’s report said. “The information gathered during this investigation helps public health determine if they have COVID-19 (coronavirus), or if their symptoms may be caused by another respiratory pathogen.”

Cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by a new coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, is being reported in a growing number of countries internationally, including the United States, where the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on Jan. 21, in a traveler who had recently returned from Wuhan, the VDH said.

No cases have been confirmed in Virginia at this time.

Contact Charles Boothe at cboothe@bdtonline.com.

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