The coronavirus was first identified on Dec. 31st 2019 and has killed at least 26 people in China and infected more than 900 worldwide.
On Friday, January 24, 2020 U.S. health officials diagnosed a second patient with the coronavirus in Chicago. The virus hit a Chicago woman who returned from Wuhan with the infection. The U.S. health officials are continuing to monitor dozens who may have potential of having the virus here.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, who is the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases had this to say about the virus, there are currently 63 cases being monitored in about 22 states from all across the United States. One of these states includes the 1st patient in Washington state and the new case in Illinois.
U.S. officials said that the new patient, a woman in her 60’s, is doing well and is in stable condition. She also remains isolated in a hospital as a precaution. Officials said that the Illinois patient traveled to China in late December and began experiencing symptoms when she returned to the U.S. last week. They said she did not have symptoms while flying.
Dr. Allison Arwady, who is Chicago’s public health commissioner said, “She was not symptomatic when flying. And based on what we know now about this virus, our concern for transmission before symptoms develop is low, so that is reassuring.”
“CDC believes the immediate risk to the U.S. public is low at this time, but the situation continues to evolve rapidly,” Messonnier said, adding that there is likely to be more cases in coming days. “We have our best people working on this problem.”
U.S. health officials currently recommend that people call a health-care provider before seeking treatment so the the process can be thoroughly examined before contacting them. It currently takes the CDC about 4 – 6 hours to make a diagnosis once a sample makes it to its lab.
“We’re really working to understand the full spectrum of the illness with this coronavirus,” Messonnier said. “The problem with this time of year is it’s cold and flu season and there are lots of cold and respiratory infections circulating.”
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually infect animals but can sometimes evolve and spread to humans. The symptoms in humans include; fever, coughing and shortness of breath, which can progress to pneumonia.