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Two Iowans Being Tested For Novel Coronavirus

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DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Public Health confirms two individuals being tested for the novel coronavirus in the state.

Both individuals recently returned from China and are being tested for the novel coronavirus.

According to State Epidemiologist Dr. Caitlin Pedati the two individuals are under voluntary home confinement.

“With circumstance we are not going to be providing any additional information about the patients or their location to the public. That’s because there is no recommended action to that the general public needs to take at this time,” Pedati said.

Pedati said the public should not be worried.

“The overall risk from novel coronavirus in the United States and here in Iowa does continue to remain low," Pedati said.

MercyOne Des Moines has an isolated location if a patient with the novel coronavirus needs hospital care.

MercyOne Medical Director for Infection Prevention Ravi Vemuri said, “If they were to come to MercyOne Des Moines, they would alert us, this person would have a mask put on them and then he would be brought to our unit that we have here called ‘highly infectious disease’ unit. These are units that a lot of hospitals have established during the Ebola outbreak in preparation of coming across such a patient.”

The hospital needs up to four hours to create the location. Vemuri said the hospital does at least two training sessions a year to prepare employees for the unthinkable.

“We use a hood that’s hooked up a machine with a filter so we get the air filtered there through this hood and then we wear a bunny suit much like people may have seen in China on television. This has face protection  and the bunny suit gives up full protection,” Vemuri said.

Pedati said information of which airports they traveled through, when and if they contracted symptoms will not be released to the public at the moment.

Tests conducted by the Center For Disease Control is expected become available within multiple days.  As of February 5th there are no confirmed cases in Iowa.

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