A Texas A&M University student was being isolated at home on Thursday as health officials said they were examining whether he could be the second known case of Wuhan coronavirus in the United States.
The man had traveled from Wuhan, China, where the outbreak of the respiratory illness began, and health care providers determined that he met the criteria for coronavirus testing, health officials in Brazos County, Texas, said. They said they would promptly announce if testing confirmed the patient’s illness was a case of Wuhan coronavirus.
Texas A&M said in a statement that the immediate health risk to those on its campus in College Station was considered low.
The case marked a growing roster of people being monitored around the United States since officials identified the country’s first confirmed Wuhan coronavirus patient in Washington State this week. Officials have been working to contact people who were on his flight home from the Wuhan region, and on Thursday they increased the number of people they have identified as having had close contact with that patient in recent days to 43. Those people will get daily check-ins from medical personnel to monitor their health.
For the first time, deaths have been reported away from the city of Wuhan, the center of the mysterious outbreak. More than 800 people in China have been diagnosed with the new virus.
The British and American governments tell their citizens to avoid Wuhan, the outbreak hot zone.
The authorities greatly expanded a travel lockdown in central China on Thursday, essentially penning in more than 22 million residents in an effort to contain a deadly virus that is overwhelming hospitals and fueling fears of a pandemic.
The new limits — abruptly decreed ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, China’s busiest travel season — were an extraordinary step that underscored the ruling Communist Party’s deepening fears about the outbreak of a little understood coronavirus.
Chinese health officials reported on Friday that there had been 26 deaths from and 830 cases of the coronavirus, a sharp increase.
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