A person who attended a LEGO convention in North Carolina earlier this month has tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting county health officials to urge others who attended to call an information line to see if they may have been exposed to the virus.
The News & Observer reports that Wake County officials said Sunday that the person who attended the BrickUniverse LEGO Fan Convention on March 8 at the Raleigh Convention Center had symptoms of the virus while at the convention and has now tested positive.
Wake County is asking anyone who was at the event from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to call the COVID-19 information line at 919-856-7044. They will be asked if they are experiencing symptoms and for their contact information.
"Because the crowd was so large and so mobile, we have no way to identify who came in close contact with this person during the Lego convention," said Dr. Jose Cabanas, the county's EMS Director/Medical Director who is overseeing public health operations Sunday in the Emergency Operations Center.
"We need the community's help to determine who was potentially at risk of exposure to the virus."
Several interactive attractions at the event were replaced with non-touchable displays as a precaution.
At the time, Wake County and the state were not recommending events be canceled. On Saturday, Gov. Roy Cooper banned mass gatherings of more than 100 people and ordered all public schools to close for at least two weeks.
North Carolina has reported that 32 people have tested positive for the virus so far.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough.
For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.
The outbreak has caused more than 5,800 deaths out of 156,000 cases worldwide.