CDC confirms second case of coronavirus in the United States, expects more soon


The three confirmed cases in the US are an airline passenger who flew from Wuhan to Washington state, a woman in Chicago who traveled to Wuhan in December, and one other person.

The new USA patient is a woman from Chicago in her 60s who visited Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the outbreak, in December and returned to the US on January 13, said Jennifer Layden, chief medical officer and state epidemiologist for the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The patient is doing well and remains hospitalized "primarily for infection control", said Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago's public health commissioner.

The person did not have close contact with anyone after leaving the airport in North Carolina and wore a mask the entire time while at the airport.

The virus, which was first detected in Wuhan in late December, has already killed 26 people and infected more than 880 others in China.

Dr. Erica Pan, a health officer for Alameda County in California's Bay Area, told ABC7 the risk of catching the coronavirus in the Bay Area is thought to be "very low".

Of the 63 people under investigation from 22 states, 11 have so far tested negative, CDC said on a conference call with reporters.

The number of cases that have been exported - and the number of countries outside China that have reported cases - continue to grow as well.

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The coronavirus has infected more than 600 people worldwide, though mostly in China.

The coronavirus, which first spread from a wildlife market in Wuhan, has not been designated an "international health emergency" or a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Taking a page from the plan Beijing developed to combat Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome 17 years ago, hundreds of workers were being paid up to three times their normal wage (as much as $173 per day) to get the center built in under a week, local officials were quoted as saying. The Sars (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus that killed almost 800 people globally in the early 2000s was also a coronavirus, as is the common cold.

Most of the patients who have died from the infection have been older than 60 and have had preexisting conditions.

Despite sharing some symptoms that were similar to SARS (such as fever, dry cough and shortness of breath), there "are some important differences", such as the absence of upper respiratory tract symptoms like runny nose, sneezing and sore throat and intestinal symptoms like diarrhea, which affected 20% to 25% of SARS patients, lead author Bin Cao, from the China-Japan Friendship Hospital and the Capital Medical University, both in Beijing, said in a statement. "We know that among those infected, one-quarter of patients have experienced severe disease".

A 60-year-old Chicago woman is the second US patient diagnosed with the new pneumonia-like virus from China. For now, CDC said it will maintain its screening process at five United States airports but will re-evaluate its necessity.

USA officials warn that there are no vaccines for the coronavirus, which is thought to have begun in animals before being transferred to humans, and there is no specific treatment plan.