North Carolina’s second novel coronavirus case has been reported in Chatham County, state health officials say

In late February, the unidentified man traveled to a part of Italy that has since seen an outbreak of COVID-19. He had flu-like symptoms for two days, then felt better and flew home. At some point, he came in contact with a person who contracted coronavirus in Georgia. That led Georgia health officials to notify North Carolina health officials.

Chatham County officials visited his home and collected specimens, which they sent to the state lab. Last night, the Department of Health and Human Services says, the results came back “presumptively positive and will be confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab.”

Because the man was symptomatic before leaving Italy, the CDC will seek to contact those who were on the flight with him. 

The patient is said to be cooperative, doing well, and is in isolation at home. 

North Carolina’s first case—a Wake County man who appears to have contracted the illness in Washington state—was announced in a press conference last week. Although it was 10 days between the man returning home and his diagnosis—in which time he went to a popular restaurant on a Saturday night and a church in Cary—no other cases have yet been connected to him. 

COVID-19,” DHHS says, “is currently not widespread in North Carolina. Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, North Carolinians should take the same measures that health care providers recommend to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, including washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and covering coughs and sneezes.”  

Contact editor in chief Jeffrey C. Billman at 

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