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VERIFY: Is the new strain of coronavirus in Central Georgia?

The CDC is currently investigating over 100 possible cases of the sickness in 26 states across the country.

MACON, Ga. — The Centers for Disease Control says there are 5 confirmed cases of coronavirus in America right now. 

The states affected are Washington, Illinois, Arizona, and California.

Per the CDC, all illnesses from the new strain of coronavirus in the United States are from adults who recently traveled to China.

In China, health officials report that a new strain of the virus nCoV is spreading rapidly, infecting thousands and killing dozens. The city of Wuhan has shut down highways, train stations, and the airport to try to prevent people from spreading the largest reported outbreak.

But after a Facebook post from a Central Georgia family claimed their daughter tested positive for the virus, some people asked us to verify if it had spread to our community.

9-month-old Sawyer Giles has been battling low blood sugar levels and other health problems since she was born. During a recent trip to the children's hospital, her parents say she tested positive for a type of coronavirus.

Pediatrics doctor Joanne Kennedy with Navicent Health says the coronavirus is a family of viruses with several strains.

"What we typically see here in the United States is a different strain than the one that's coming out of China," says Kennedy. "It would be like the common cold -- You can have a fever. It typically lasts somewhere in the range of 3 to 7 days."

Doctor Jeff Stephens with Navicent Health says it's a fairly common illness among children.

"There are lots of them. It's also in animals, cats, bats," says Stephens. 

So while both doctors say forms of the coronavirus have been in Central Georgia for years, the North Central Health District confirms that, so far, no cases of the new strain (nCoV) have been reported here.

"If at anytime, any positive confirmation of novel coronavirus pops up in Georgia, we will definitely make that known to the public," says spokesman Michael Hokanson with the North Central Health District (Georgia Department of Public Health). 

As for Sawyer, her parents say she's recovered from her less severe strain of virus and is all smiles. 

If you have recently traveled to China and are experiencing respiratory problems, or have been in contact with someone who may have coronavirus, Dr. Stephens and Dr. Kennedy say you should contact your health provider.

They are also urging people to continue best practices, like washing your hands and sneezing into a tissue to prevent the spread of germs.

The CDC is looking into 110 possible cases of the new strain of coronavirus in 26 states, 2,400 people have been screened so far. 

At this point, the CDC says it doesn't appear the virus has mutated and it considers there to be a low risk of the virus spreading to the community.

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