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Who can be tested for coronavirus?

Posted at 8:01 PM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 05:48:55-05

LANSING, Mich. — The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working on making more tests available across the country, but what symptoms does a person have to show before being tested for the coronavirus?

According to the CDC, local health departments decide who should be tested for the virus.

They've laid out some of the guidelines on their website based on other diseases like SARS and MERS.

It says health officials should take into account a person's symptoms and recent travel.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, says Michigan is following those guidelines set by the CDC.

"Unless someone has had recent travel to one of the countries where there's been a widespread transmission of the disease or unless they are very, very sick, and I mean in an intensive care unit in a hospital and doctors still don't know why they're sick, those are the reasons why we're testing," said Dr. Khaldun.

The state has been testing at its lab in Lansing since last week.

So far, seven people in Michigan have been tested and have had negative results.

There is a limited supply of tests nationwide. Michigan has about 140 tests.

"We need to test more so that we can understand more about the disease itself and then, of course, making sure we're identifying people who have it so they do not spread it to other people," said Dr. Khaldun.

The Department of Health and Human Services launched a campaign Tuesday to highlight the importance of handwashing, not just to prevent the coronavirus but also other illnesses like the flu.

For more information on the virus, click here.

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