DHMC employee tests positive for coronavirus; first case in NH

CONCORD, N.H. (WCAX) New Hampshire health officials have confirmed the first "presumptive positive" case of the coronavirus, and it's in Grafton County.

Authorities say a Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center employee who had been in Italy has the virus, although official tests from the CDC are still pending.

Officials say the employee is not hospitalized and has been confined to their home in Grafton County after returning from travel with flu-like symptoms. State epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan said Monday the patient is experiencing mild symptoms.

Italy currently has one of the worst outbreaks of the virus outside of China, where it first originated. More than 80,000 cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, have occurred worldwide. About 3,000 people have died. The illness is characterized by fever and coughing and, in serious cases, shortness of breath or pneumonia. The first reported death in the U.S. from the virus was confirmed Saturday in Seattle.

New Hampshire Health officials are urging the pubic not to panic and to follow basic hygiene protocols like washing hands and not going to work when sick.

The state's Congressional delegation says they are working to secure needed funding to slow the spread of the virus.

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