AUGUSTA – Officials with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said there is a person in the state of Maine being tested for the coronavirus. The results have not come back at this time.
“This individual has been very cooperative with us and the presence of this individual does not change our overall assessment that the risk of coronavirus is low in Maine right now,” said Nirav D. Shah, MD, JD, director for Maine CDC.
Maine joins 37 other states that have sent people to be tested for this 2019 novel virus. As of now, only six states have had tests come back positive.
“I think if there were multiple cases really rapidly I would be freaking out a little bit. But because it’s one isolated case and they’re not sure what it is I’m going to wait to panic I guess,” a teacher said.
Shah said in the United States there have been 13 confirmed cases.
“If you haven’t been exposed to the virus, i.e. you haven’t been to China or anything of that nature or anywhere else in the world where the virus is circulating, the risk of having it is very low in the United States at this time,” Shah said.
Shah said from a health perspective the biggest concern right now isn’t the coronavirus — it’s the flu.
“Just this season so far from October through the present the regular old flu has caused more than 10,000 deaths in the United States,” Shah said.
According to the Maine CDC, this season there has been 17 deaths in Maine from the flu. No one has died in the United States from the coronavirus at this time.
Shah said there are ways to stay healthy.
“For someone who is walking down the street, putting on a mask doesn’t really reduce their risk of anything,” he said.
Shah said it’s not too late to get a flu shot and recommends regular hand washing.