Nebraska Has First Confirmed COVID 19 Case

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Governor Pete Ricketts has confirmed the first case of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 in Nebraska.

Ricketts made the announcement in a conference call with reporters Friday afternoon, the day after the 36-year old Omaha woman came to the emergency department at Methodist Hospital in Omaha.

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Ricketts was joined on the call by a number of health care professionals, including Dr Robert Penn, Infectious Disease Specialist at Methodist. Penn said the woman had relatively mild symptoms for several days, but got increasing worse after going to the hospital Thursday.

Dr Penn said the woman is “seriously ill” and was transferred to the Nebraska Bio-Containment Unit at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where she joined a suspected COVID 19 patient previously in UNMC’s National Quarantine Unit.

Officials said they don’t know in detail yet where the woman was, what she was doing, or who she may have had contact with between arriving home from the UK and going to the hospital, so finding those answers is a top priority.

Ricketts encouraged people to prepare as if they might have to be inside their home for an extended period of time and to take the same type of precautions they would in trying to avoid the flu – including washing hands, coughing into your elbow, and staying home if you don’t feel well.

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