First Case of Coronavirus Reported in US

January 22, 2020

The first case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCOV) has been confirmed in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The patient, a man in his 30s who lives in the Seattle area, is currently in isolation. He returned home to Washington state on January 15 from Wuhan, China, where 2019-nCOV began in December.

The Wuhan coronavirus is in the same family as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which killed more than 700 people in 2002 and 2003, and Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS. So far, the Wuhan coronavirus has infected more than 300 people and killed six in an outbreak that has struck China, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and now the United States.

Symptoms of 2019-nCOV include fever, cough and trouble breathing. The disease is thought to have originally spread from animals to people, but there is growing evidence it is now spreading from person to person. The CDC and Washington state health officials are currently tracing the people the U.S. patient was in contact with to make sure he has not spread the disease to anyone else. However, health officials stress that the chances of catching the coronavirus in the United States are low and that other illnesses, such as measles and the flu, are a much bigger risk to the American public, CNN reports.