Report: First U.S. Case Of Coronavirus Confirmed In Washington State
The first case of a new strain of coronavirus has been reported in the United States, according to the Washington Post.
The infected person is man from Washington state. He is reportedly in stable condition but is being held in isolation for precautionary measures. He recently returned to the United States after a trip to an area near Wuhan, China, a region of China where it's believed the virus originated.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses ranging from the common cold to much more serious diseases and can infect both humans and animals, according to the World Health Organization. The strain spreading in China is related to two other coronaviruses that have caused major outbreaks in recent years: Middle East respiratory syndrome, also known as MERS, and severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.
“Since this is a respiratory virus, it is spread easier than Ebola, so it brings with it more fear of easily being transmitted between people,” said Matthew Frieman, a virologist and associated professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine who studies coronaviruses.
In China, the virus has killed at least six people and infected hundreds more.
The CDC is screening individuals returning from overseas flights at international airports in Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. “This is an evolving situation and, again, 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 Disease.
The outbreak has grown rapidly in recent days, with authorities in China reporting confirmed cases in multiple cities as hundreds of millions of people in China and elsewhere in Asia are on the move in the run-up to the Lunar New Year, the biggest travel event in the world. The infection is believed to have begun among people who shopped or worked at an animal market in Wuhan. But its rapid spread led officials to conclude that people, as well as animals, could transmit the infection.