Wednesday, January 22, 2020

First U.S. Case Reported of Deadly Wuhan Virus: The coronavirus has sickened hundreds, killed six in China

Photo: Suh Myung-geon/Yonhap/Associated Press
A man in Washington state has been diagnosed with a deadly strain of coronavirus, the first case to be confirmed in the U.S. in an outbreak that has sickened hundreds of people in Asia, federal and state health officials said Tuesday.
The man, who is in his 30s and is a U.S. resident, recently traveled to Wuhan, China, the city where the outbreak is believed to have started last month, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as Washington state and local health authorities. The man arrived back in the U.S. on Jan. 15.
He is the first patient to be diagnosed with the new coronavirus outside of Asia, where more than 300 people have been sickened and at least six have died. While most of the confirmed illnesses occurred in people in Wuhan, cases have been reported in other cities in China, as well as Thailand, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
The CDC said last week that it was expecting cases in the U.S., and now says it expects more. “We do expect additional cases in the United States and globally,” said Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
An emergency committee for the World Health Organization is scheduled to meet Wednesday to determine whether to declare the outbreak a public-health emergency of international concern, a designation that would help mobilize resources to prevent the virus’s spread around the globe.
Photo: mohd rasfan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Aware of the outbreak in Wuhan, the Washington man sought medical care when he developed symptoms a day after arriving home to Snohomish County, north of Seattle, the health officials said. He is in good condition and has been hospitalized at the Providence Regional Medical Center Everett out of an abundance of caution, the officials said.
A hospital spokesman said that the patient is being monitored in a special isolation unit “for at least the next 48 hours.” The hospital is contacting health workers and other patients who may have had contact with him, so they can be monitored for symptoms, the spokesman said.
“The man who tested positive acted quickly to seek treatment,” said John Wiesman, Washington State Secretary of Health. “We believe the risk to the public is low.”
Read the rest of the story HERE at the WSJ.

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