ALBANY (AP) — A man in New York City’s suburbs was hospitalized in serious condition with the COVID-19 virus Tuesday after becoming the second person to test positive in the state, prompting schools to close and raising the possibility that the virus is spreading locally.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the 50-year-old lawyer from New Rochelle had no known travel history to countries where the outbreak of the new coronavirus has been sustained, though he had been recently to Miami.
The man, who commuted to work in Manhattan and lives in a home with school-age children, had an underlying respiratory illness that potentially put him in more danger from the disease, Cuomo said.
Officials said the man was diagnosed Monday at a city hospital after initially seeking treatment at a hospital in suburban Bronxville. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city’s health lab performed the positive test on its first day of testing for the virus.
“City and state disease detectives are working closely to identify close contacts and the appropriate next steps,” de Blasio said.
The positive test prompted the closure of at least two schools, including a private school in the Bronx attended by one of the man’s children.
A 39-year-old health care worker who traveled to Iran became the first confirmed case of the virus in New York on Sunday. Officials said the woman has respiratory symptoms, but they are mild.
Her husband, who is also a health care professional, is also being tested for the illness, which is characterized by fever and coughing and, in serious cases, shortness of breath or pneumonia.
Cuomo also said two families in Buffalo that traveled to Italy are under quarantine and being tested for the virus.
The governor said more cases are expected as the outbreak spreads and testing ramps up.
“You’re going to see an increasing spread,” Cuomo said.
More than 90,000 people have been sickened worldwide and more than 3,000 have died from the virus, which first showed up in late 2019 in Wuhan, China. The number of countries hit by the virus has reached at least 70.
The illness is characterized by fever and coughing and, in serious cases, shortness of breath or pneumonia.
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