The first case of Wuhan coronavirus has been reported in the United States, in Washington state, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday.
The new virus was first identified in China, and at least six people have died from it, while nearly 300 have been infected.
The U.S. is the fifth country to report seeing the illness, following China, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea.
According to the Washington Department of Health, the patient is a man in his 30’s from Snohomish County, who experienced symptoms after returning from a trip to China near where the outbreak began. He had been hospitalized with pneumonia last week, and the coronavirus was confirmed Monday afternoon.
Initial symptoms of the new coronavirus include fever, cough, tightness of the chest and shortness of breath.
“As our team of experts partners with infectious disease specialists locally, nationally and around the globe to learn more about the 2019 novel coronavirus, our first priority remains public safety,” said Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “We believe the risk to the public is low. And as this situation evolves, we will continue to communicate with the CDC, Snohomish County and the public.”
Officials are compiling a list of people the patient may have had contact with since his return to the United States. The Wuhan virus can spread person to person, but not nearly as easily as viruses such as measles or influenza.
The CDC is not identifying the patient.
CDC says the man infected with the Coronavirus is in "good condition." He's in a local hospital for monitoring. #Q13FOX
— Bhavisha Patel (@BhavishaPatel) January 21, 2020
Authorities said the risk to the general public is low. Authorities are working on notifying anyone who may have come in contact with the man.
A CDC team was sent to Washington state to assist Snohomish County and the Washington Department of Health.
The CDC also announced on Tuesday that it will start screening passengers flying directly or indirectly from Wuhan to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
On January 17, the CDC began screening passengers arriving from Wuhan to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, followed by Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport.
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