Testing at Iowa’s State Hygienic Laboratory has indicated five additional presumptive positive cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iowa residents, a total of 13 presumptive positive cases. 14 additional tests were negative. All five new cases are in self-isolation and recovering at home.
According to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), the five new cases are all older adults (61 to 80 years) from Johnson County and were on the same Egyptian cruise as seven other presumptive positive cases.
A public hotline has been established for Iowans with questions about COVID-19. The line is available 24/7 by calling 2-1-1.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Those most at risk of the virus are older adults, and individuals with underlying health conditions.
It is important to note there are seven different coronaviruses known to infect humans. There are four common coronaviruses (229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1) that circulate widely. Most people will get infected with one or more of the common human coronaviruses in their lifetime. IDPH recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth with your upper arm or tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
CDC does not recommend face masks for the general public. It is currently flu and respiratory disease season, and IDPH recommends getting the flu vaccine. Influenza activity is widespread in Iowa and as long as flu viruses are circulating, it’s not too late to receive the vaccine.
COVID-19 was first linked to an outbreak in Wuhan, China, but cases have subsequently been identified in several countries, including the U.S. These are the first cases identified in Iowa. Confirmatory testing is pending at CDC.