The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just made an ominous confirmation – the first case of the deadly Chinese coronavirus spreading from one person to another inside America has been confirmed.
“We understand this may be concerning but based on what we know now our assessment remains that the immediate risk to the American public is low,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield.
A woman who lives in the Chicago suburbs and who just visited the epicenter of the virus in China has infected her spouse.
From The AP:
Health officials Thursday reported the first U.S. case of person-to-person spread of the new virus from China.
The man is married to the Chicago woman who got sick from the virus after she returned from a trip to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak. There have been cases reported of the infectious virus spreading to others in a household or workplace in China and elsewhere.
The new case is the sixth reported in the United States. The other five were travelers who developed the illness after returning to the U.S. from China. The latest patient had not been in China.
The Chicago woman returned from central China on Jan. 13, then last week went to a hospital with symptoms and was diagnosed with the viral illness. She and her husband, both in their 60s, are hospitalized.
Experts have said they expected additional cases, and that at least some limited spread of the disease in the United States was likely. Health officials think the new virus spreads mainly from droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how the flu spreads.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Illinois health officials said that health workers and people who have been in contact with the latest patient are being monitored for symptoms.
A close contact of one of the patients in the U.S. with coronavirus has been infected with the illness, the first evidence that the new virus has spread person-to-person in this country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.
The new patient lives with a Chicago woman in her 60s who was diagnosed after returning last month from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak that’s now sickened upward of 8,000 people.
At least 170 people have died, all in China and the Chinese authorities have already confirmed more cases of this deadly virus than the entire few months during the SARS epidemic.