For the second time in a week, a possible case of coronavirus in New Jersey is being investigated, as the reported number of people who have died from the virus increased dramatically.

At least 4,500 people have been infected worldwide with the new virus, which first appeared in the Chinese industrial city of Wuhan, in the central part of the country.

Officials in China on Tuesday put the number of deaths at 106, up from 26. The new total includes the first death in Beijing and 24 more in Hubei province, where the outbreak has been centered.

The New Jersey Department of Health told it is awaiting test results from the CDC on a suspected case in New Jersey. The state did not specify a medical facility to The CDC says it has 73 cases pending testing nationwide.

The Department of Health did not immediately respond to a message early Tuesday morning.

A woman brought to Hackensack University Medical Center on Thursday tested negative after an evaluation of the patient and consulting with the State Department of Health, according to hospital spokeswoman Nancy Radwin.

The state issued guidelines on Friday to medical facilities on responding to potential cases, including sending samples to the CDC lab in Atlanta, which is currently the only facility in the country equipped to test for coronavirus.

There are five confirmed cases of the virus in the United States, in Arizona, California, Illinois, and Washington State.

State Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli said patients with confirmed nCoV infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Persichilli said the CDC believes at this time that symptoms of nCoV may appear in as few as two days or as long as two weeks after exposure.

Initial symptoms of the virus can mirror those of the cold and flu, including cough, fever, chest tightening, and shortness of breath, but can worsen to pneumonia. The coronavirus family includes the common cold as well as viruses that cause more serious illnesses, such as SARS and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome, or MERS, which is thought to have originated from camels.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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