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Background and Transmission

COVID-19 is a new disease and information is rapidly evolving about how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States. We strongly encourage you to reference the CDC website for the most up-to-date information about transmission of the virus.

Background information as of March 2, 2020

The NH Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the first person in our region, from Grafton County, tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus, now known as COVID-19.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH) leadership has established assessment and planning/operational groups to actively address this issue and our High Threat Infection (HTI) team has implemented its response plans.

Consistent with federal and state laws governing patient confidentiality, we will not provide any information on the patient other than to say that the patient is an employee of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon. The patient is currently isolated at home to limit ongoing transmission and is being monitored by the state for any worsening of symptoms. Risk to patients coming into the medical center remains low at this time.

We are working with the state, and have a clear plan on the travel pattern of this patient and to follow up with any others with whom the patient may have had contact since exposure. This remains a very fluid situation, and more information will be provided as it becomes available.

We know that people in our region are concerned about COVID-19 virus (caused by the Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) are closely monitoring this outbreak of respiratory illness.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 (caused by the Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV) is the virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China, which is spreading worldwide.

At this time, it is unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. The latest situation summary updates are available on the CDC's web page Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

How is it transmitted?

Current understanding about the transmission, severity of illness, and other features of the virus is based on continued investigation by the CDC. The virus is mainly thought to spread from person-to-person.

Please reference the CDC website for the most up-to-date information about the spread of the virus.

What are the symptoms?

CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 after exposure. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Please review the CDC website for additional information about symptoms of COVID-19.

Additional information