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Person being evaluated at Bozeman hospital for illness after traveling from China

Posted: 4:48 PM, Feb 10, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-11 19:25:10-05

Gallatin City-County Health Department confirmed one person, who traveled from China, is being evaluated at the hospital for an illness.

"This is not unexpected," said Matt Kelley, the health officer with the Gallatin City-County Health Department (GCCHD). "We have many people from our community traveling the world, and we have been preparing for this situation."

The unidentified patient has been placed in isolation and is being evaluated by recommendations from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is designed to prevent cases of novel coronavirus, according to reports.

"Just because someone is not feeling well does not mean they have novel coronavirus," Kelley explained. "But we are using an abundance of caution, so that risk to others is minimized. Now is the time for vigilance and caution, but the public should know that the risk to others in Montana is very low."

GCCHD says in Montana, both local and state public health officials have worked with 10 to 15 people who have travel history from China since the outbreak started. But the department says none of those people have any current symptoms of concern.

Of those 10 to 15 people, five of those have been in Gallatin County, says the health department.

This local monitoring is part of a larger effort to keep the disease from spreading here by making sure people "with travel history to China who become ill receive high-quality medical care in a manner that reduces possible exposure to others", according to GCCHD.

The department says even though one patient is in isolation, they do not know if he or she has contracted novel coronavirus. Isolation is a precautionary measure recommended by the CDC.

The Gallatin City-County Health Department and Bozeman Health are working with partners at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), as well as the CDC.