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3 possible coronavirus cases being investigated in Michigan

Michigan health officials are sending specimens from three individuals to the CDC to get them tested for the coronavirus.

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is investigating three possible cases of the coronavirus, a viral respiratory illness that has broken out in China and spread to several countries. 

The three Michigan cases were referred to the MDHHS from two people in Washtenaw County and one in Macomb County. Currently, only the Centers for Disease Control are testing specimens to confirm the coronavirus and the specimens from Michigan are being sent to the CDC for testing. 

"Given the number of specimens being tested nationally, no specific turnaround time is available, but results are expected within several days," said MDHHS in a press release Friday. 

The Michigan State Laboratory will prepare the specimens and send them to the CDC. 

All of the cases being investigated in Michigan have presented with "mild illness" the state health department said. The individuals are self-isolating and local health departments are monitoring anyone who may have come into contact with them. 

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“At MDHHS, we recognize the potential threat associated with this virus and are working to identify any suspect cases in Michigan,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “Our goal is to quickly identify individuals with the virus and prevent any potential spread. We encourage healthcare providers to remain vigilant in screening patients for symptoms and travel history, and to contact their local health departments immediately if they see a potential case.” 

The MDHHS is monitoring people who have symptoms of a lower respiratory illness, fever and have a travel history that includes Wuhan or contact with someone who is being monitored for the coronavirus. 

Cornoaviruses are a group of viruses common among animals and humans, and in rare cases, they can be transmitted from animals to humans. The recent outbreak is a newly discovered version that had not been previously found in either animals or humans. 

Health officials are calling this outbreak "Novel coronavirus 2019" which was first detected in Wuhan, China. Investigators are working to learn more about the virus, but it has spread through person-to-person contact, according to the CDC. 

People who have a confirmed case of coronavirus had a mild to severe respiratory illness with a fever, cough and shortness of breath. 

The CDC believes that symptoms may appear in 2-14 days after exposure. If anyone believes they have symptoms, or recently traveled to Wuhan or been in contact with someone who has the virus, they should contact their healthcare provider before arriving. 

Public health screenings for travelers from Wuhan have been put into place at five U.S. airports: Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. 

Friday, the CDC confirmed a woman in Chicago has the virus. 

The CDC said that they are monitoring 63 people from 22 states for possible cases of the virus, health officials said.

But the CDC stressed that the immediate health risk to the general American public is considered low at this time. Health officials said it's likely more cases will be reported in the U.S. in the coming days and weeks. 

The number of cases in China has risen to 830 while and the deaths include the youngest recorded victim at 36. 

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