Mar 7, 2020 - Health

Nebraska announces first presumptive coronavirus case

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts at CPAC in 2017. Photo: Mike Theiler/AFP via Getty Images

Nebraska announced its first presumptive positive case of the novel coronavirus on Friday.

What's happening: The patient is a woman in her 30s who returned from England in February and was hospitalized on Thursday, per a press release from the state health department. The case is travel-related and health officials have not found evidence of COVID-19 spreading in the state.

  • The woman is currently being transferred to a biocontainment unit at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
  • State health authorities are working with the CDC to identify who has come into close contact with the affected patient.
  • Those identified will be self-isolated and actively monitored twice daily by health officials for fever and respiratory symptoms. They will undergo further testing if symptoms are found.

What they're saying: “Ensuring the health of Nebraskans is our main priority,” Dr. Tom Safranek, state epidemiologist for DHHS, said in the Friday press release. “These actions are meant to help decrease the risk of disease spreading in the community. However, even with these actions, we may see additional confirmed cases in Nebraska.”

What you can do: Nebraskan residents are advised to avoid close contact with those who are sick, wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

The big picture: There are now more than 300 coronavirus cases in the U.S., according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Go deeper... Coronavirus updates: Global infections top 100,000

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Chicago jail is largest-known source of coronavirus

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Chicago's Cook County jail is the largest-known source of coronavirus infections in the U.S., the New York Times reports. The White House has identified Chicago's metro area as a risk for exponential growth of the virus.

Why it matters: Public health officials have warned this would be a particularly deadly week for America, even as New York began to see declining trends of hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

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Surgeon general: This week will be "Pearl Harbor" or "9/11 moment" in U.S.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on "Fox News Sunday" that the next week will be "the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment" — as the projected death toll from the coronavirus pandemic surges.

Why it matters: Unlike those tragedies, Adams emphasized that the direct effects of the coronavirus will not be "localized" and that it will be happening "all over the country." But he also stressed that the public has the "power to change the trajectory of this epidemic" by following social distancing and other public health guidelines.

Go deeperArrowApr 5, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 1,500,830 — Total deaths: 87,706 — Total recoveries: 317,855Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 423,135 — Total deaths: 14,390 — Total recoveries: 23,127Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Top Trump administration officials had been developing a plan to give cloth masks to huge numbers of Americans, but the idea lost traction amid heavy internal skepticism.
  4. States latest: Chicago's Cook County jail is largest-known source of coronavirus in U.S.
  5. Business update: One-third of U.S. jobs are at risk of disappearing, mostly affecting low-income workers.
  6. World update: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to put politics aside "if you don’t want to have many more body bags.”
  7. Environment update: COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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