x
Breaking News
More () »

Central Georgia's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports, and more | Macon, Georgia | 13WMAZ.com

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.

RELATED: CDC says to avoid all non-essential travel to China amid Wuhan coronavirus outbreak

RELATED: US confirms 5 cases of Wuhan coronavirus, 110 people 'under investigation'

RELATED: What's new in the China coronavirus outbreak

RELATED: VERIFY: 'Coronavirus patents' are from older viruses, not current strain

RELATED: VERIFY: The source of the coronavirus isn't confirmed yet

RELATED: What is Wuhan coronavirus?

RELATED: VERIFY: Headlines comparing the coronavirus to Spanish flu are missing context

RELATED: VERIFY: Fact-checking viral coronavirus videos and claims

STAY ALERT | Download our FREE app now to receive breaking news and weather alerts. You can find the app on the Apple Store and Google Play.

STAY UPDATED | Click here to subscribe to our Midday Minute newsletter and receive the latest headlines and information in your inbox every day.

Have a news tip? Email news@13wmaz.com, or visit our Facebook page.