NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Two more people are being tested for coronavirus in New York City, officials said Wednesday, bringing the number of people whose samples have been sent to the CDC to five.
The results for two patients have already come back negative, with the other three pending.
The two additional patients had recently been in China and presented with fever and cough or shortness of breath without another common cause, like influenza and other respiratory viruses, identified through testing.
The individuals are both under 40 years of age, and one has been hospitalized while the other did not have symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization.
Per CDC guidance, that individual will remain under appropriate isolation precautions and daily monitoring by the health department.
Testing to determine whether these are a confirmed case of the coronavirus takes a minimum of 36 to 48 hours and depends on CDC's coronavirus testing capacity.
"New York City is on high alert and prepared to handle any confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "My message to New Yorkers remains the same. If you have the travel history and are exhibiting symptoms, please see your health provider immediately."
De Blasio said the city is another step closer to being able to test for coronavirus.
There are now 12 confirmed cases in the United States and over 20,000 worldwide.
The novel coronavirus is a strain of coronavirus that has not been previously detected in humans. This novel coronavirus can lead to symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath. While some infections have resulted in severe illness, and even death, others have presented with milder symptoms and been discharged from care.
The health department is continuing to monitor the evolving worldwide situation daily, including the latest data on transmissions, incubation, new cases, and guidance.
The department has distributed educational materials so that people have the facts about how to protect themselves and their families from coronavirus and other respiratory illnesses, what to do if they feel unwell and have a travel history to affected areas, and other important information about this disease.
The health department has also conducted outreach and is providing guidance to local community-based organizations and health care providers serving our communities to inform them of the necessary precautions they need to take if someone with symptoms of coronavirus visits them.
For those who feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and traveled to Hubei Province China or been in contact with a confirmed case the novel coronavirus within 14 days of symptom onset, CDC recommends:
--Seek medical care right away. Before going to a doctor's office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about recent travel and symptoms.
--Avoid contact with others.
--Do not travel while sick.
--Cover mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not hands) when coughing or sneezing.
--Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.