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Belleville Hospital Patient Tested For Coronavirus Does Not Have Virus

A scanning electron microscope image shows the novel coronavirus (yellow) against human cells (pink.) 2-27-20
A scanning electron microscope image shows the novel coronavirus (yellow) against human cells (pink).

Updated 9 p.m. Feb. 28 with results of the coronavirus test

BJC HealthCare announced Friday evening that a patient tested in the Metro East for coronavirus did not have the virus.

In a statement, BJC HealthCare, which runs Belleville Memorial Hospital, said St. Clair County Health Department confirmed that there are no new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois.

Officials at the hospital say they’re following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and are prepared to “initiate isolation and infection prevention protocols when necessary, including precautionary protection for our team members.”

There have been two confirmed cases of the coronavirus, COVID-19, in Illinois and none in Missouri.

Original story from Feb. 27:

A patient who checked into Belleville Memorial Hospital is being tested for coronavirus. 

The hospital, which is part of the BJC HealthCare system, has referred the patient to the Illinois Department of Public Health for further testing. In a statement, BJC Healthcare said the results are expected to come back in the next few days.

A spokesperson for BJC, Kim Renth, could not confirm if the patient had visited China. 

Two cases of the respiratory illness, COVID-19, have been confirmed in Illinois since the outbreak originated in Wuhan, China. 

BJC Healthcare said its hospitals follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines by screening patients with symptoms.

Patients who are referred for further testing include those with a travel history that could put them at risk for infection. The symptoms of the coronavirus include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, which can lead to pneumonia. 

Health officials recommend people wash their hands frequently. 

As of Tuesday, 59 cases have been confirmed in the U.S., but no one has died of the virus. According to the World Health Organization, the coronavirus has spread to 37 countries, and as of yet, no vaccine has been produced.

Follow Kayla on Twitter: @_kayladrake

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