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Idaho man found dead had traveled to China; initial coronavirus test negative, coroner says

Entrance to the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Daniel Mayer, Wikimedia Commons/Released)

After not being seen for several days, a 71-year-old Boise man who recently traveled to China and Japan was found dead Sunday and was in advanced stages of decomposition, according to a press release Wednesday from the Ada County Coroner’s Office.

Initial testing on the body of Frederick M. Gilbert came back negative for both the coronavirus and influenza, the release said.

Gilbert returned to the United States from Asia on Feb. 5, according to the coroner. That led to coordination with Central District Health in Boise and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and samples were submitted for testing. The deadly coronavirus, also being called covid-19, has already killed more than 1,100 people worldwide and infected tens of thousands more. Its origins date to China.

Although the initial samples for covid-19 and flu came back as negative, the CDC is doing additional testing out of “an abundance of caution.” Those tests will take up to 10 days, and updates will be released as they become available, according to the press release.

No cases of coronavirus have been reported in Idaho.

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