A person suspected of having the novel coronavirus has been admitted to the University of Chicago Medical Center, which is awaiting test results to confirm whether the patient has the virus. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the patient had been tested by a state lab or whether an official diagnosis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was being sought.
If confirmed, the patient would mark Illinois’ fifth case of COVID-19.
“UChicago Medicine has been preparing for this eventuality since COVID-19 became a global health concern in January,” an email to staff states. “Senior hospital leadership and leaders from our infectious diseases and infection prevention teams, along with other expert clinicians, are working closely with local, state and federal health officials and continue to apply up to date recommended guidelines.”
The hospital is following “rigorous isolation and infection control protocols to ensure the safety of our staff, patients and our neighbors,” according to the email. “We have the utmost confidence in the dedicated and highly trained team composed of nurses, physicians and other health care professionals who are providing care for this patient.”
The news of the suspected case comes a day after a couple in their 70s marked the state’s third and fourth cases of the virus in Illinois.
Illinois reported its first case of coronavirus in January after a woman in her 60s returned from Wuhan, China, the epicenter for the outbreak. She infected her spouse, a man in his 60s, who didn’t travel to China, according to health officials. Both have made a full recovery.
Coronaviruses are respiratory viruses that range from the common cold to more serious illnesses, like SARS and MERS, and are generally spread via droplets in the air when people cough or sneeze, as happens with the common cold, according to officials. There is no treatment or vaccine for the virus.