St. Clair County man believed to be third coronavirus patient in Michigan

The St. Clair County Health Department is reporting a presumptive positive case of COVID-19.

The case would be the third instance of COVID-19 in the state of Michigan. According to the department the patient is described as a middle-age man who is stable condition, isolated in his home. 

The patient has a history of domestic travel and took precautions early on and had minimal contact with the public, according to the health department - although it will be continuiing to investigate the case. 

"The Health Department does not want the community to panic," said Dr. Annette Mercatante, medical health officer. "If you feel well, you do not need to be tested. Mildly ill people should be encouraged to stay home and contact their healthcare provider by phone for clinical guidance. Testting will be determined based on risk assessment."

Check the website for updates and a COVID-19 hotline is available for residents at (810) 966-4163.

The other two patients are in metro Detroit. One is a woman from Oakland County who traveled internationally, and the second is a man from Wayne County who's recently traveled domestically. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun urged all Michiganders Tuesday night to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus in our state. 

Whitmer also declared a state of emergency, which allows the state to purchase health-related items without a bid.

RELATED: What's known (and not known) about the 2 coronavirus cases in Michigan

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus but may put you in a better position to fight it.

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.

Whitmer's late Tuesday statement was followed by a wave of business closures, sporting event suspensions, and school cancelations


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