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Coronavirus: Woman in Chicago becomes second patient to be infected on U.S. soil

Neither of the cases were detected by the airport screenings that began on January 17, said CDC official Martin Cetron.

Neither of the cases were detected by the airport screenings that began on January 17, said CDC official Martin Cetron.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The U.S. confirmed its first case earlier this week, a man in his thirties from Washington State who had travelled to Wuhan recently.

A woman in Chicago in her sixties on Janurary 24 was confirmed as the second patient on U.S. soil to be infected with the novel coronavirus that has afflicted hundreds in China, health officials said, with 50 other suspected cases under investigation.

“I'm pleased to report she is clinically doing well and is in stable condition,” said Allison Arwady, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Nancy Messonier, senior official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the agency had so far tested 63 samples from patients across 22 U.S. States for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

Eleven were found to be negative and two positive, and the CDC was working to make diagnosis kits more nationally available. At present the testing is occurring at the agency's headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The Chicago patient had travelled to Wuhan in late December before returning to the U.S. on January 13, Mr. Arwady said, a few days before health screenings began at major airports for travellers originating from the central Chinese city that is at the centre of the outbreak.

The woman began experiencing symptoms and called her health care providers, and was later admitted to hospital and placed in isolation. “She has not taken public transportation, have not attended any large gatherings and, she has not had extended close contact with anyone outside her home since returning from China,” added Mr. Arwady.

The U.S. confirmed its first case of the infection earlier this week, a man in his thirties from Washington State who had also travelled to Wuhan recently and also reported himself to authorities after developing mild symptoms.

Neither of the cases were detected by the airport screenings that began on January 17, said CDC official Martin Cetron, and both patients had no symptoms or fever when they first arrived in the U.S. China has placed a travel ban across a vast region encompassing 13 cities and more than 40 million people, and the U.S. was now “re-evaluating” its approach of carrying out airport screenings, added Mr. Cetron.

The previously unknown virus has caused alarm because of its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed hundreds across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 12:14:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/coronavirus-woman-in-chicago-becomes-second-patient-to-be-infected-on-us-soil/article30646354.ece

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