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Chicago Woman Is 2nd U.S. Case of Wuhan Virus

FRIDAY, Jan. 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A Chicago woman in her 60s has been identified as the second U.S. patient to be diagnosed with a new Chinese coronavirus, health officials announced Friday.

The woman visited China in late December and returned to Chicago from Wuhan on Jan. 13, days before the CDC started screening incoming passengers for coronavirus.

A few days after returning home the woman began to feel sick, Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during a media briefing on Friday.

The woman saw her doctor, who asked her about her travel history, Arwady said. Upon learning she'd been to Wuhan, he asked her to don a mask and sent her to a hospital.

"The patient is clinically doing well, remains in stable condition, and remains hospitalized mainly for infection control," Arwady said.

The woman was not sick during travel, and she has limited close contacts, all of whom are well but will be monitored for symptoms, Arwady added.

"After returning from China, the patient has had very limited movement outside her home," Arwady said. She hasn't taken public transportation and hasn't attended any large gatherings.

More Americans being tested

The first U.S. coronavirus case, a man in his 30s from Snohomish County, Wash., flew into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Jan. 15 via an indirect flight from Wuhan. Aware of the developing situation in China, the man fell ill on Jan. 19 and reached out to his doctor. CDC officials confirmed his case by the next day.

Health officials are actively monitoring 16 people who came in close contact with the man, who is in good condition. The man is being kept In quarantine at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Wash., out of an abundance of caution.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has so far received reports of 63 patients under investigation for potential coronavirus infection from 22 states, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in the media briefing. These are the only two cases to be confirmed, and 11 have tested negative.

Other countries have reported cases of the new coronavirus. South Korea and Japan both confirmed their second cases Friday and Singapore confirmed its third. Cases have been detected in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States, the Associated Press reported.

More than 2,000 airline passengers have so far been screened after disembarking from 200 flights arriving in the United States from central China, Dr. Martin Cetron, director of CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, said in the media briefing. No passengers have been found ill with coronavirus. Screening continues at five airports -- New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

First clinical studies

Pneumonia and respiratory failure are the most dangerous potential complications of infection by the novel coronavirus, according to the first clinical data out of Wuhan, published Jan. 24 in The Lancet journal.

All of the first 41 patients with lab-confirmed coronavirus were hospitalized with pneumonia in Wuhan between Dec. 16 and Jan. 2, researchers reported.

Nearly all suffered a fever, three in four had a dry cough, about half had shortness of breath, and 44% suffered from fatigue, data show.

About one in three patients developed respiratory failure or were admitted to intensive care, researchers said. Six of the 41 patients died, a mortality rate of 14%.

A majority of patients in this first infection group have been discharged from hospital as of Jan. 22, researchers say.

Two-thirds of the first 41 patients infected with lab-confirmed coronavirus had visited the Hunan seafood market in Wuhan prior to falling ill, the report noted. Freshly killed game animals are sold at that market, and researchers suspect that might be where the coronavirus jumped from animals to humans.

A second report in The Lancet focused on how the coronavirus transmitted through a family within a matter of weeks.

A 65-year-old woman from Shenzen developed symptoms five days after visiting a 1-year-old relative with pneumonia at a Wuhan hospital on Dec. 29, researchers said.

After returning home, the woman was admitted to a hospital in Shenzen on Jan. 10 along with her 66-year-old husband, who had also become ill. A day later, hospital officials found that their 37-year-old daughter and 36-year-old son-in-law had developed symptoms. One child was also found to be infected, but did not show any symptoms.

Another family member, a 63-year-old mother-in-law, also subsequently fell ill and was admitted to the hospital on Jan. 15.

All of the sick family members were placed in isolation and remain stable as of Jan. 20, the report said.

Efforts to contain the outbreak, treat more patients continue

A new 1,000-bed hospital, built just for patients infected with the coronavirus is expected to be completed in the city of Wuhan by Feb. 3, officials said Friday. So far, the virus has caused 830 confirmed illnesses and 26 deaths in China

Transportation has been shut down in at least 12 cities in central China, and officials have moved to close down large-scale Lunar New Year celebrations, common meeting places, and tourist destinations like the Forbidden City and Shanghai Disneyland.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have more about coronaviruses.

SOURCES: Jan. 24, 2020, media briefing with: Allison Arwady, M.D., MPH, commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health; Nancy Messonnier, M.D., director, U.S. National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases; Martin Cetron, M.D., director, CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine

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