KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The CDC said it expects more cases of the coronavirus in the coming days. The infection has more than 30 million people under quarantine in Wuhan, China. In the United States, doctors said the risk is low, but they're keeping a close eye on the situation.
Patients in Macomb and Washtenaw counties are being tested for the coronavirus. (MGN Image)
UT Medical Center told WVLT News it's ready if the virus appears in East Tennessee.
"We've rolled out our screening practices earlier this week in the emergency room. We have the equipment and supplies to respond to this," Dr. Mark Rasnake, a specialist in infectious diseases at UT Medical, said. "We've been actively educating our team members as new information comes out -- to be prepared for this virus."
The CDC confirmed a second case of the coronavirus Friday in Chicago. Several other cases are being investigated. A Tennessee Tech student was tested for the virus but the results were negative.
Doctors said coronavirus is actually very common and causes symptoms similar to a cold. However, this strain is especially contagious and can cause a severe respiratory infection and even pneumonia. The strain has caused death in several cases.
Dr. John Adams, an infectious disease specialist for Covenant Health, said the other two well known coronavirus strains include SARS and MERS.
"SARS has since basically disappeared. There hasn't been a case anywhere since 2004," he told WVLT News reporter Robert Grant.
MERS is not as common but is found in places around the Middle East.
The CDC is recommending no travel to China. There's currently no vaccine for the virus. Doctors said it's very contagious, however, it's still unknown exactly how it spreads.
The CDC said it's a very fluid situation with updates by the hour. But officials said the United States is at a low risk.
"People ought not to worry," Dr. Adams said. "Paying attention is a good thing to do right now," Dr. Rasnake said.
As of Friday, cases in the US came from patients who had travel history in China. There have not been any secondary cases in the United States.
Doctors recommend avoiding contact with your mouth, eyes, and nose. They also said you should wash your hands.
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