Coronavirus in Pine Bluff, Arkansas: What we know, latest updates

Arkansas sees first confirmed coronavirus cases: Here’s what we know, latest updates

Sarah Ann Dueñas
Baxter Bulletin

This story was last updated on March 25. For all the latest news and updates from the COVID-19 pandemic's local impact, head to the Baxter Bulletin's home page.

Coronavirus has spread to Arkansas. The state Health Department has confirmed Arkansas' first case of novel coronavirus, COVID-19, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced March 11.

First coronavirus case reported in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Arkansas has recorded its first case of the new coronavirus, Gov. Hutchinson announced Wednesday, March 11.

The person is from Pine Bluff and is currently in isolation at a hospital, he said. The governor also declared a public health emergency because of COVID-19, which has infected more than 1,000 people in the United States and killed at least 30.

The Arkansas patient had traveled out of state recently but had no known international travel, Hutchinson said. The positive sample has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for further confirmation. 

How many cases are in Arkansas?

As of Wednesday, March 25 there are now 280 presumed positive cases in Arkansas, according to the state Health Department website.

The story continues below. 

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Coronavirus in the U.S. continues to spread 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to monitor the coronavirus outbreak and advise travelers from nonessential travel to some countries.

Latest travel warnings:

Tracking the Coronavirus Contagion:Existing cases across the globe

Coronavirus map: These states have reported cases of COVID-19

How do you get coronavirus?

Like the common cold and the flu, coronavirus spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets, according to the CDC.

Coronavirus is spreading rapidly from person to person, and scientists are still learning more about how coronavirus spreads.

There's no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through food, according to the CDC.

It is, however, possible that a person can get the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own face. There is likely a very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks, according to the CDC.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The most common symptoms resemble the flu and include fever, tiredness and dry cough. Some people also develop aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.

Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and some people don't have any symptoms at all. 

About 1 in 6 people become seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing, according to the World Health Organization. If you experience fever, cough and shortness of breath, call your doctor.

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Contributing: Grace Pateras, USA TODAY Network; John Bacon, USA TODAY, Jorge Ortiz, USA TODAY; The Associated Press