The Center for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed the first case of Wuhan coronavirus in the U.S. today.
The patient, who recently returned home from a trip to Wuhan, China is currently in isolation at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Wash. after seeking medical attention four days after returning from his trip on Jan. 19.
The Wuhan coronavirus is a new virus that appeared in an animal market in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, last month.
The CDC says while it was originally thought the virus was spreading from animal-to-person, there are growing indications that limited person-to-person spread is also happening. However, the CDC says it’s unclear how easily this virus is spreading between people.
The virus can cause respiratory symptoms such as pneumonia and is in the same family as the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed more than 700 people in 2002 and 2003, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) syndrome.
The Wuhan coronavirus has currently infected more than 300 people and killed six in countries covering China, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and now the U.S.
Three international airports in the U.S. have implemented public health entry screening including San Francisco (SFO), New York (JFK), and Los Angeles (LAX) airports. This week CDC will add entry health screening at two more airports – Atlanta (ATL) and Chicago (ORD).
The CDC also said that any passengers coming from Wuhan into the U.S. will be required to enter the country through to one of the five airports with screenings.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is scheduled to meet tomorrow to evaluate whether the coronavirus outbreak should be declared an international public health emergency.
The CDC believes the risk of Wuhan coronavirus to the American public at large remains low at this time.
Editor’s note: The featured image represents a model of the flu virus and not the Wuhan coronavirus.
- Center for Disease Control. (Jan. 21, 2020). First Travel-related Case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Detected in the United States. Retrieved Jan. 21, 2020 from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p0121-novel-coronavirus-travel-case.html