On Sunday, Jan. 26, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) announced that a Maricopa County resident has been diagnosed with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The confirmed case is in a person who recently returned from travel to Wuhan, China. The case is a member of the Arizona State University community who does not live in university housing. The investigation by the Maricopa County Public Health Department (MCDPH) indicates the person is not severely ill and is currently in isolation to keep the illness from spreading. Public health in Arizona is currently investigating any close contacts who may have been exposed while the person was infectious.

Federal, state, and local public health agencies are closely monitoring an outbreak of pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. There have been cases identified in China with exported cases in a growing number of countries internationally, including the United States with cases in Arizona, California, Illinois, and Washiington state.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses; several are able to cause respiratory illness in people. Signs and symptoms are similar to the common cold or the flu, and include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever, and general feeling of being unwell.

If you have recently traveled to Wuhan, China and have developed fever with cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel, or if you have had contact with someone who is suspected to have 2019 Novel Coronavirus, stay home and call your healthcare provider right away. If you do not have a health care provider, you may need to be seen at your local hospital emergency room/urgent care center. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

Currently, CDC has a laboratory test available to test individuals who meet certain criteria. ADHS and the local health departments continue to provide information to health care providers, EMS/first responders, and the public about what individuals can do if they have had recent travel to Wuhan and are feeling sick.

While there is significant attention on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, ADHS advises Arizonans that influenza and other more common respiratory diseases are circulating in the community.  Arizonans are recommended to get a flu shot and follow basic prevention guidelines. The best ways to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses are to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

For more information about the outbreak, visit the ADHS coronavirus website at azhealth.gov/coronavirus, or call the Maricopa County Public Health Department hotline at 602-747-7099.