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U.S. officials confirm first U.S. case of China coronavirus

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 21, 2020 - Duration: 01:16s

U.S. officials confirm first U.S. case of China coronavirus

A traveler from China has been diagnosed in Seattle with the Wuhan coronavirus, a spokesman from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday.

Zachary Goelman reports.

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U.S. officials confirm first U.S. case of China coronavirus

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control on Tuesday (January 21) confirmed it had diagnosed the first case of the newly-identified Wuhan coronavirus in the Unites States, a day after the agency concluded the potentially deadly illness can be transmitted person-to-person.

The patient arrived at Seattle's SEA-TAC airport from China before the CDC began screening travelers from China at three U.S. airports.

Health officials said the patient presented himself for medical treatment on Sunday after displaying symptoms and reading reports about the spread of the disease.

Tests confirmed the disease Monday and the CDC is now tracing his route and people with whom he may have come into contact.

Officials say the patient, a resident of western Washington state, is currently being treated and appears healthy.

The disease is believed to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and has since spread to Beijing and Shanghai.

Chinese health officials say more than 300 people have been infected so far and six have died.

Cases have been reported in South Korea, Thailand and Japan.

The CDC said it has developed a new test that allowed it to identify the virus in the Seattle traveler and plans to expand screening to airports in Atlanta and Chicago.

This comes as the World Health Organization plans to convene a committee of experts on Wednesday to assess whether the coronavirus outbreak constitutes an international emergency.

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