Two patients at Queens hospitals being tested for coronavirus

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Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the city’s Health Commissioner, along with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Bellevue Hospital staff addressed the first possible coronavirus case in New York City on Feb. 1. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

The city’s Health Department is awaiting test results for two hospitalized Queens women suspected of contracting coronavirus.

Both women are in their 60s and recently visited mainland China, where the coronavirus outbreak began. They sought treatment at Flushing Hospital Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Queens, also in Flushing, after exhibiting symptoms such as fever and cough or shortness of breath. Fortunately, both patients are listed in stable condition.

Doctors ruled out other common causes of these symptoms, such as the flu or common cold, according to the Health Department. Samples were taken to the Centers for Disease Control, with results pending within the next 36 to 48 hours.

On Saturday, the city announced its first possible coronavirus patient, who is hospitalized at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. The city is expected to get coronavirus testing results from the CDC as early as Monday.

“With the best public health system in the world, New York City stands ready to respond to any confirmed cases of the coronavirus,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio reminded on Sunday. “I urge all New Yorkers to remain vigilant, and if you or anyone you know matches the criteria and have recently traveled to the affected areas of China, please see a medical professional.”

Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot reminded the public that they should seek medical care if they feel unwell. 

“Also, practice everyday precautions like you would during flu season—wash your hands frequently, and cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze. We remain grateful to all New Yorkers for their cooperation,” she added.