KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s first “presumptive-positive” case of a COVID-19 infection is travel-related and not from local, person-to-person contact, according to state health officials.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed Saturday that a St. Louis County woman in her 20s, who tested positive for the coronavirus from an outbreak that started in December in China, had recently traveled to Italy.
“The public health laboratory has reported a presumptive positive result for COVID-19 and has forwarded to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation,” Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Saturday at a press conference in St. Louis County.
Parson said the woman “is isolated at home with family members who have also been in isolation."
The woman, whose identity isn’t being released to protect her privacy, visited health-care providers in the St. Louis area after experiencing “fever and respiratory challenges,” Parson said.
It’s unclear if or how concerned health officials are about possible exposure from those doctor visits.
“As governor, I have no greater responsibility than to keep all Missourians healthy and safe,” Parson said. “We have an excellent health care system, and I am extremely confident that Missouri is prepared to handle these cases, as well as any others that may arise.”
Missouri officials said 26 individuals have been tested for coronavirus in the state, including three patients who are still awaiting test results.
“We will continue to be proactive and ensure we are taking the necessary steps to educate, inform and protect all Missourians ...,” Parson said. “Again, I want to assure you that we will continue to work with the federal, state and local health officials and emergency personnel to keep people safe and healthy.”
Italy is one of four countries currently subject to a Level 3 Travel Health Notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC recommendation is that travelers avoid all non-essential travel to Italy.
According to the World Health Organization, there were 4,636 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Italy based on statistics reported Saturday morning.
There have been 197 deaths linked to the coronavirus outbreak in Italy.
The Hubei Province of China, where COVID-19 originated, has seen the most cases (67,666) and most deaths (2,959).
There are more confirmed cases of coronavirus in South Korea and Iran than Italy, but Italy has experienced the second-most deaths, according to the World Health Organization.