CDC Reports First Known Staff Member with Coronavirus

FILE - This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. On Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, The Associated Press …
NIAID-RML via AP

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed Monday its first known employee with the COVID-19 respiratory infection, also know as the novel coronavirus.

CDC performed lab testing on the staff member and confirmed the diagnosis of coronavirus. The U.S. health agency reported the employee “is in good condition and is isolated to prevent spread of infection to others.”

The staff member reportedly had not been in the workplace since March 6 and had not shown any symptoms at that time.

“After developing symptoms, the individual took the appropriate action and stayed home,” CDC reported and added:

CDC is considering and taking all necessary actions to further protect the health and safety of our workforce. CDC has been taking proactive steps to reduce the risk of infection among its workforce. These steps have included encouraging sick employees to stay home, increasing the frequency of cleaning CDC facilities, canceling large meetings and staff travel, increasing the use of teleworking among staff, and encouraging social distancing and other preventive measures.

Individual details about the affected staff member’s illness will not be revealed out of respect for that person’s privacy, CDC said.

CDC recommends that those families who plan to clean household surfaces with disinfecting products remember not to mix bleach with ammonia or other cleansers due to the danger of creating toxic fumes.

Individuals who develop symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and who have been in contact with a person known to have the COVID-19 infection, or have recently traveled from an area with continued community spread of the infection, should call their doctor, CDC advises.

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