WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The latest coronavirus in the US is the second reported case in Chicago and the sixth reported case in the US.
- The new patient is the husband of a woman who was diagnosed with the virus after a trip to China.
- Officials stated that it’s “likely” to see some cases of person-to-person transmission “among close contacts of travelers,” but the risk to the general public is still low.
Officials have confirmed the first case of person-to-person transmission of the coronavirus in the United States.
The particular case is currently the second coronavirus case reported in Chicago and the sixth case reported in the US.
While the other five patients contracted the disease after returning from a trip to China, the new patient had not been to China — making it the first case of person-to-person transmission.
The latest patient is the husband of the Chicago woman who was diagnosed with the virus after she returned on January 13 from her trip to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak. The woman, who is in her 60s, was diagnosed last week after she went to a hospital showing symptoms. When she was hospitalized, her husband was also closely monitored.
The novel coronavirus that has caused an international outbreak was first detected last month in China. Officials believe that the virus initially spread from animals to people. Doctors also believe that the virus was first found in people who got sick after spending time at a food market in Wuhan.
However, as there were cases reported of the infectious virus spreading to others in a household or workplace, it has been confirmed that it can be spread through human contact. Health officials believe that it mainly spreads from droplets left by an infected person who coughs or sneezes, much like how the flu spreads.
The novel coronavirus is a close cousin to the Sars and Mers viruses that have caused past outbreaks. Symptoms include fever, coughing, wheezing, and pneumonia. It has since infected thousands, mostly in China, and killed more than 170.
The latest case was announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Illinois health officials on Thursday.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the CDC stated during last Friday’s press briefing that it’s “likely” to see some cases of person-to-person transmission “among close contacts of travelers.”
While experts have said they are expecting additional cases, they maintain that the risk in the US is still low.
Source: The Guardian