The head of Duke University Medical Center said Friday he was “shocked and saddened” when he learned that a patient at his hospital was exposed to the coronaviral strain that has led to at least nine deaths in the United States.
“It is heartbreaking to see this happening, and I am so sorry,” Dr. Mark J. Rosen, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said in a statement.
“I never imagined that I would be the one who had to call in for an urgent situation.”
Dr. Rosen said the patient was a male in his 20s who had recently returned from a trip to Mexico and had recently been tested.
He said the case was quickly referred to the state Department of Health for an evaluation, but he said he was not sure when that might occur.
“At this point, we have no other information,” he said.
“We are hoping to have more information in the next 48 hours.”
The patient was isolated in a special room for the night, where he was given intravenous fluids and antibiotics.
He also received an antiviral drug and was being treated for dehydration, fever and other symptoms of coronaviruses.
Rosen said the hospital was still working with federal health officials to determine what kind of antiviral treatment was given to the patient.
He did not know how long the patient would be hospitalized, saying that the patient had been discharged from the hospital.
The patient was in stable condition, Rosen said.
The hospital did not immediately respond to a request for additional information.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.