The first case of a new virus that’s sickened hundreds of people in China has been discovered in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today.
The virus was first detected in the city of Wuhan, where it caused an outbreak of pneumonia. The first case was detected in a patient from Washington state who “recently returned from” that city in China and sought treatment at an undisclosed medical facility. More than 300 cases and six deaths have been reported in China and nearby countries, spreading as far as as Thailand, Japan, and South Korea, since December, reports CNN, citing Chinese health officials. The infection has spread rapidly ahead of the lunar new year holiday (on January 25).
The CDC says it confirmed the diagnosis of the first travel-related case of the “2019 Novel Coronavirus” in the U.S. yesterday. Media outlets have referred to it as the “Wuhan coronavirus,” after the centrally-located city in the Hubei province.
The CDC cautions that it “continues to believe the risk of 2019-nCoV to the American public at large remains low at this time.” It warns, however, that the situation is “rapidly evolving.”