The first case of coronavirus — a respiratory disease first reported in Wuhan, China where six people died and at least 200 people have been infected — has made its way to the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed on Tuesday.
Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said that a male patient in his 30s was being treated at Snohomish County, Washington, a two-hour drive north of Seattle.
The man traveled from Wuhan to the U.S., according to USA Today.
Officials said this week that human-to-human transmission has been confirmed.
The fact that some cases do not seem to be linked with the Huanan seafood market means we cannot exclude the possibility of limited human-to-human transmission.
— World Health Organization Western Pacific (@WHOWPRO) January 16, 2020
The patient, confirmed by the CDC to be a U.S. resident, arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Jan. 15 without signs of any symptoms but sought medical help after he became ill on Jan. 19, CNN reported.
He is currently in good condition at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington.
While the CDC is tracking down the people the patient came in contact with to ensure that the disease hasn’t spread, John Wiesman, secretary of health for the state of Washington, was quoted as saying, “We believe the risk to the public is low.”
Coronavirus is the same family responsible for the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003.
On Monday, South Korea reported its first case of the infection involving a Chinese woman who had visited the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, the alleged origin of the virus, before traveling to Incheon International Airport.
The 35-year-old tested positive for the virus and suffered from fevers, respiratory issues and other symptoms.
O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport are reportedly screening for coronavirus this week, according to the CDC.
Screenings have commenced at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport.