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.
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. All are in self isolation and recovering at home.
A status report of monitoring and testing of COVID19 in Iowa provided by IDPH can be found here. In addition, 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.
Iowans can help prevent the spread of illness by following simple daily precautions including washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when ill. 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.