UPDATED Sunday, 1/26/20 12:00 pm: CNN reports, “The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed the first case of coronavirus in the county, according to a statement from the department. It is the fourth confirmed case in the United States.” The fifth US case has just been reported in Maricopa, Arizona.
Per a statement released by the Los Angeles County Department of Health they are, “…working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal, state and local agencies to monitor this novel coronavirus that has emerged from Wuhan, China, over the past few weeks. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available,” the department said in a statement.
The cases of 2019-nCoV currently reported in the US are in Washington State, Chicago, Orange County, California and Los Angeles. Globally, 50 deaths have been reported.
UPDATED Friday, 1/24/20 8:15 am: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed this morning of a second case of the Coronavirus flu in the US. The patient is a woman in her 60s, living in Chicago, who reported feeling sick when she arrived home from China on January 13. She reportedly traveled to Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated.
The woman is said to be in stable condition, but is being held in the hospital nevertheless. This is to monitor her condition and make sure the infection cannot be spread. The CDC also said there is “low” concern that she spread the disease upon returning.
At least 50 people in 22 states are being evaluated for symptoms possibly related to the virus.
This news comes on the heels of the CDC announcing the first United States-based case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) earlier this week. That patient, a resident of Snohomish County, Washington, had recently returned from Wuhan, China. Per the CDC, “While originally thought to be spreading from animal-to-person, there are growing indications that limited person-to-person spread is happening. It’s unclear how easily this virus is spreading between people.”
The patient, who returned from Wuhan on January 15, 2020, was being treated by healthcare providers, who suspected 2019-nCoV. A clinical specimen sent to the CDC confirmed their suspicions. Per the CDC’s statement, the organization “is working closely with the state of Washington and local partners. A CDC team has been deployed to support the ongoing investigation in the state of Washington, including potentially tracing close contacts to determine if anyone else has become ill.”
When Coronaviruses, a large family of viruses, is spread person-to-person this often occurs through respiratory droplets, much in the way influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. Symptoms can include fever, cough and trouble breathing.
The CDC says the situation with regard to 2019-nCoV is still unclear, and a rapidly evolving situation: “While severe illness, including illness resulting in several deaths, has been reported in China, other patients have had milder illness and been discharged.”
The confirmation that some limited person-to-person spread with this virus is occurring in Asia raises the level of concern about this virus, but CDC continues to believe the risk of 2019-nCoV to the American public at large remains low at this time.
The CDC prepared for the possibility of 2019-nCoV arriving in the US through the following measures:
- First alerting clinicians on January 8, 2020, to be on the look-out for patients with respiratory symptoms and a history of travel to Wuhan, China.
- Developing guidance for clinicians for testing and management of 2019-nCoV, as well as guidance for home care of patients with 2019-nCoV.
- Developing a diagnostic test to detect this virus in clinical specimens, accelerating the time it takes to detect infection. Currently, testing for this virus must take place at CDC, but in the coming days and weeks, CDC will share these tests with domestic and international partners
- On January 17, 2020, CDC began implementing public health entry screening at San Francisco (SFO), New York (JFK), and Los Angeles (LAX) airports. This week CDC will add entry health screening at two more airports – Atlanta (ATL) and Chicago (ORD).
- CDC has activated its Emergency Operations Center to better provide ongoing support to the 2019-nCoV response.
For more information:
- About the current outbreak in China, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/novel-coronavirus-2019.html
- About Coronaviruses: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html
- For travel health information: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/pneumonia-china
Parentology will be sharing updates as they unfold.