CDC Confirms The First Case Of Coronavirus In The US

CDC Confirms The First Case Of Coronavirus In The US

The patient had reportedly arrived in the US on January 15th from Wuhan. He is now in isolation at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington.

The Center For Disease Control and Prevention in the US has confirmed its first case of a new virus that first appeared in Wuhan, China, last month, reports CNN. The confirmation came Tuesday. The virus has already sickened hundreds and killed six people in Asia. CDC officials said the United States will be more strict with health screenings of airplane passengers arriving from Wuhan. The patient, whose name has been withheld, is in isolation at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington. The male patient is said to be in his 30s and resides in Snohomish County, Washington, just north of Seattle. He recently returned from Wuhan.



On January 15th, he arrived at the Seattle-Tacoma international airport. This was before screening for the Wuhan coronavirus began at US airports. He then made a visit to the hospital on January 19. The CDC and Washington state are now in the process of tracing the people he was in contact with to see if he might have spread the disease to someone else. "We believe the risk to the public is low," said John Wiesman, secretary of health for the state of Washington.



Four days after arriving in the United States, the man fell ill and had to seek medical care. Based on the patient's symptoms and travel history, doctors suspected it to be the Wuhan coronavirus and sent specimens to the CDC in Atlanta, where tests Monday confirmed the virus. The patient is now doing well, but he is still being kept in isolation just to be cautious, health officials said.



Soon, passengers from Wuhan to the US -either on a direct or indirect flight- will be allowed to land only in one of the five airports that will be carrying out health screenings. Screenings include a temperature check and observation for symptoms such as a cough and trouble breathing. Last weekend, the CDC started health screenings for Wuhan passengers arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport.



From this week onwards, Wuhan passengers will also be screened at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Chicago O'Hare International Airport. The Wuhan coronavirus is in the same family as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which killed more than 700 people in 2002 and 2003, and Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS. To date, the Wuhan coronavirus has infected more than 440 people and killed six in an outbreak that has struck China, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and now the US.



The outbreak started at an animal market in Wuhan, about 700 miles south of Beijing, in late December. The virus can transfer from animals to people. While there's a lot more to research about how easily the virus can be transmitted human-to-human, health officials said it appears to not spread as quickly as some other viruses. "This isn't anywhere near in the same category as measles or the flu," Dr. Martin Cetron, director of CDC's division of global migration and quarantine, told CNN.


Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.

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