The dreaded coronavirus infection has reached the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday that the country's first case of coronavirus infection was confirmed. A Washington man in his 30s is the first confirmed case of coronavirus infection in the United States. The virus first appeared in China's Wuhan in December, and has infected more than 300 persons and claimed six lives, so far.
Man had travelled to Wuhan
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the infected man had recently returned to Washington from Wuhan, the epicenter of the disease outbreak.
The patient returned from China on January 15 and sought care at a medical facility in the state of Washington on January 19, where he was treated for the symptoms. "Based on the patient's travel history and symptoms, healthcare professionals suspected this new coronavirus", said the CDC's statement. "A clinical specimen was collected and sent to CDC overnight, where laboratory testing yesterday confirmed the diagnosis via CDC's Real time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) test", the statement further added.
The patient, who has not been named, lives in Snohomish County, Washington, just north of Seattle. He is being treated at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington. CDC officials have said the United States will be more strict about health screenings of airplane passengers arriving from Wuhan.
Infections and fatalities
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illness, ranging from the common cold to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Little information is available about the virus's strain reported in Wuhan, but it is from the same family as the deadly SARS pathogen, that infected about 8,000 people in over 37 countries and claimed about 80 lives. On Monday, Chinese authorities confirmed that the virus can spread through human-to-human transmission.