By CHARLES OWENS

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Mercer County has reached another unwanted virus milestone.

The cumulative total of coronavirus cases in Mercer County to date climbed to 40 Wednesday morning with the number of active infections rising to 26, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

All 26 of those individuals who have contracted the virus have been ordered to quarantine for a two-week period. Another 14 people in Mercer County have now recovered from the virus, including one individual who was hospitalized for a period of time due to the virus.

The 40th case reported Wednesday morning is attributed to travel, according to Matthew Bragg with the Mercer County Health Department.

Two of the other new cases that were reported on Tuesday involved community transmission of the virus, Bragg said.

Although the coronavirus pandemic began in mid-March, the majority of the virus cases confirmed to date in Mercer County have occurred within the last two weeks. Health officials say travel by area residents to Myrtle Beach, a virus hot spot, led to the increase in local cases.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, according to the Associated Press. However, for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

So far 3,732 people in Mercer County have been tested for COVID-19, including 501 test results that have been completed within the last six days.

— Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com. Follow him @BDTOwens

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