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Nebraska Now Has First Case of Coronavirus Not Specifically Brought to UNMC for Treatment

Mar 6, 2020

Nebraska has had its first case of coronavirus disease, COVID-19, in a 36-year-old woman who had traveled to the United Kingdom, Gov. Pete Ricketts said Friday.

The woman, who is "very seriously ill," is at Methodist Hospital in Omaha, officials said, and is being transferred to the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit on the University of Nebraska Medical Center campus.

The Omaha woman, who had traveled with her father to the United Kingdom from Feb. 18-27, became ill Feb. 24, said Dr. Robert Penn, an infectious disease specialist at Methodist. She returned to Omaha on Feb. 27. Her symptoms remained relatively mild until Thursday, he said. A chest CT scan has shown that the disease is evolving into acute respiratory distress syndrome, Penn said.

Ricketts reminded people to take common-sense steps to mitigate the spread of the virus such as covering one's cough and refraining from shaking hands.