The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) announced today a third person has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the so-called coronavirus. This is the second presumptive positive case identified by the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory.
The case is a female in her 40s who is currently hospitalized.
At this time, the patient’s exposure is still under investigation, including whether transmission of the virus is the result of community spread or of contact with another known person with COVID-19. Community spread refers to the spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown.
“The COVID-19 outbreak is rapidly evolving and based on events in other states, we expect additional cases and community spread in Arizona,” said Dr. Cara Christ, ADHS director. “Keeping Arizonans safe and healthy is our number one priority and we are confident the public health system in Arizona is well prepared to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.”
State and local public health are currently investigating to identify any close contacts that may have been exposed. Identified individuals will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms. COVID-19 spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms are thought to appear within two to 14 days after exposure and consist of fever, cough, runny nose, and difficulty breathing. Those considered at risk for contracting the virus are individuals with travel to an area where COVID-19 is spreading or individuals in close contact with a person under investigation for the COVID-19.
The best way to prevent COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases is to:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
If you have recently traveled to an area where COVID-19 is spreading and have developed fever with cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel or have had contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider. If you do not have a healthcare provider, you may need to be seen at your local hospital emergency room/urgent care center. Please call the emergency room/urgent care center to get instructions before going in.
For the latest information about COVID-19, go online to azhealth.gov/COVID19