January 27, 2020

DHSS provides update on novel coronavirus (nCoV)

Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Chief, Office of Public Information
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

JEFFERSON CITY—The Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor and inform Missourians regarding the latest information about the novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) which causes symptoms similar to influenza and originated from Wuhan, China. The virus has spread to numerous countries, including the United States. 

As of this morning, five confirmed cases have now been reported within the United States in the states of Washington, Illinois, Arizona, and California. There are more than 100 active investigations across the nation. To date, there has been one patient under investigation in Missouri who tested negative for 2019-nCoV.

“While we have no identified cases in Missouri, we will continue to be vigilant in our surveillance while tracking and monitoring national cases,” said Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS. “I met with CDC officials and other state health directors on Thursday and participated in a conference call on Sunday for a briefing from Washington state health officials where the first patient was identified. We and the CDC are prepared to help any patients who might present here and we encourage all providers and patients to maintain situational awareness.” 

Although DHSS has already executed its general authority to require immediate reporting of nCoV, the Department also has filed an emergency rule to make this disease “immediately reportable” thereby providing it with additional tools to address this disease.

Local and state public health agencies are working in partnership with health care providers throughout the state to ensure that those that need testing receive it. This includes those who: 

  • have been in Wuhan within the past two weeks, and 
  • develop a fever, or
  • develop a cough or have difficulty breathing.

Those meeting this criteria are asked to call ahead before going to see a doctor or emergency room and to inform them of your symptoms and that you were in Wuhan. 

Patients may be tested for the coronavirus with results usually available within 24-48 hours, depending on CDC’s volume. During this time, the person should self-isolate and report the development of additional symptoms to their physician.

Travelers either flying into or being rerouted to major airports in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Atlanta from China should expect enhanced screening for the symptoms described above.

DHSS has established a dedicated website at health.mo.gov/coronavirus for those seeking more information about this novel coronavirus with information the CDC.

Additional CDC Resources: