New York City health officials said they’re testing two new patients as suspected cases of coronavirus on Feb. 2, bringing the city’s total for patients being checked for the virus to three.
Both new patients, who are over 60 years old, recently arrived from China and have a “fever and cough or shortness of breath without another common cause, like influenza and other cold viruses,” the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a statement.
While both of the new patients had recently been “in mainland China,” it wasn’t disclosed if they’d been to Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, a city located in central China’s Hubei Province.
One patient is at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, while the other is hospitalized at New York-Presbyterian Queens. It will take a minimum of 36 to 48 hours to determine if the two patients have the coronavirus, according to the statement.
“New York City stands ready to respond to any confirmed cases of the coronavirus,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
“I urge all New Yorkers to remain vigilant, and if you or anyone you know matches the criteria and have recently traveled to the affected areas of China, please see a medical professional.”
The first suspected case in New York City was reported by local health officials on Feb. 1. The patient, who is under 40, had also been to China recently. The patient is being treated at Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital.
“We are continuing to work closely with our partners at the CDC, state, and federal government as the coronavirus situation evolves,” Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said.
Barbot added that anyone who has been to areas affected by the outbreak in the past two weeks and are feeling unwell should call a doctor or visit a clinic.
Scientists say the coronavirus has an incubation period—the period between exposure and the onset of symptoms—of up to 14 days.
In the United States, there are now 11 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with the latest three having been identified in California, according to Reuters.
One case involves a woman in Santa Clara County, who is in isolation at the home of a family she is staying with. The woman, who wasn’t sick enough to be hospitalized, had recently traveled to Wuhan.
In addition, a married couple in San Benito County has been diagnosed with the virus. The husband recently went to Wuhan and apparently passed the virus to his wife. Neither is hospitalized, according to local health officials.
The novel coronavirus has spread to more than 20 countries and territories in Asia, Europe, Oceania, North America, and the Middle East.
Japan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Australia have the most confirmed cases outside of China, with 20, 19, 18, 15, 14, and 12 cases, respectively.
The one death from the virus reported outside of China occurred in the Philippines. The victim was a Chinese national from Wuhan and wasn’t a local resident.