NEW YORK (Reuters) - Illinois has “successfully contained” the new coronavirus to two confirmed cases, with both patients recovering fully and returning home, Governor J.B. Pritzker said on Friday.
Even so, as the outbreak that began in China has spread globally, Illinois will expand its testing capabilities to two additional labs beyond Cook County in central and southern parts of the state.
The coronavirus has killed nearly 3,000 and infected at least 80,000 people. Most of those stricken are in China.
Chicago, Illinois’ largest city, is monitoring “hundreds” of recent travellers for any signs of the virus and supporting some who are in isolation, Allison Arwady, the city’s public health commissioner, said at a live-streamed news conference with Pritzker and other officials.
Others who have recently travelled to the most severely affected countries or are showing symptoms are staying home while monitoring their health.
Illinois, one of several U.S. states to have had confirmed cases of the respiratory disease, was the first state to be able to run testing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Officials emphasized that the risk to the general public was still low.
“But we are being extraordinarily diligent, which is why we’re stepping up surveillance of folks coming into hospitals or doctors offices,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at the news conference.
Both of the infected people there were quarantined and received hospital care, she said.
In Louisville, Kentucky as many as 50 residents signed voluntary agreements with the state health department to keep track of whether they develop fever, cough or breathing problems for two weeks after they returned from China.
Only about 10 are still self-monitoring, Dave Langdon, spokesman for Louisville’s health department, told Reuters on Thursday.
In Arkansas, 10 recent travellers are self-monitoring at home and checking in daily with health officials, Governor Asa Hutchinson said on Friday.
Neither Arkansas nor Kentucky has any known case of coronavirus.
Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Grant McCool