Georgia coronavirus patients are father who traveled to Italy before getting sick, his son

Fulton County health officials are providing new details about the two cases of COVID-19, the coronavirus, in the county.

The Fulton County Board of Health Director, Elizabeth Ford, said a 56-year-old man was traveling to Milan, Italy and when he arrived on Feb. 22, he was not showing symptoms. Several days later, the man came down with some symptoms. His son, who is 15, also later came down with symptoms.

The father and son both went to a private physician, but then were later tested by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both tested positive for COVID-19.

The spouse and another child in the family are being tested for the coronavirus.

[INTERACTIVE MAP: How many people in the US have coronavirus?]

Officials said currently, the two patients both are recovering and their symptoms have subsided.

Ford said the children are home-schooled.

Officials couldn’t say where in Fulton County the patients live, citing privacy concerns.

County officials and health workers want to remind residents to remain calm and follow instructions from the CDC.

Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairperson Robb Pitts said that county leaders are on top of the developing situations.

Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms issued a statement Tuesday, writing:

“The full efforts of the City are invested in the urgent and deliberate coordinated response with federal and state partners this health threat demands. City officials -- including those appointed to the Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force -- are working in concert to ensure the well-being of the people of Atlanta. Further, information and additional resources have been posted on the city’s website. Atlanta residents should be safe and protect themselves and their loved ones.”

Here are some quick facts about the virus:

What is it?

Cornaviruses are similar illnesses to the flu. There are several strains, four of which actually cause the common cold, according to Dr. Cherie Drenzek, a state epidemiologist. Coronaviruses have been spreading in humans for years, and you’ve probably had one without knowing it.

COVID-19 is a novel, or new, strain of coronavirus.

How does the virus spread?

WHO said the virus spreads person-to-person, when someone coughs or sneezes. If someone near you is sick and they cough and sneeze in something, then you touch it, you could be infected.

Dr. Carlos Del Rio, a professor of medical and global health at Emory University, said it appears the coronavirus can stay on a surface for several hours.

Should I panic?

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said “Caution is appropriate, preparedness is appropriate, panic is not.” Adams said that of the original 14 positive cases of coronavirus, all are recovering or have recovered.

Best Practices:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.