First U.S. Case Of Mystery Virus From China Reported: 5 Things You Need To Know

First U.S. Case Of Mystery Virus From China Reported: 5 Things You Need To Know

Health officials wear face masks at an inspection at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Countries both in the Asia-Pacific and elsewhere have initiated body temperature checks at airports, railway stations and along highways in hopes of catching those at risk of carrying a new coronavirus that has sickened more than 200 people in China. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to announce this afternoon that the first case of the contagious Wuhan coronavirus has been reported in the U.S., an involved federal source outside the CDC told CNN.

The case is reportedly in Washington state. A traveler from China was diagnosed in Seattle, according to Reuters, who cited a CDC spokesperson.

A man in his 30s who had recently traveled to the central Chinese city of Wuhan was hospitalized last week after suffering with pneumonia, according to the Independent.

The man traveled to Washington state before health officials began screening travelers from Wuhan at Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York’s John F. Kennedy international airports, Washington Post reported. The man is at a hospital in Snohomish County, north of Seattle and home to a large population of Asian Americans. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been added to the list of airports screening travelers from Wuhan.

Here are some things to know about the virus:

  • Coronavirus was first identified in December in Wuhan, China. It has killed six people and infected more than 300 in five countries including the U.S., Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
  • The World Health Organization is expected to discuss on Wednesday in Geneva whether this constitutes a global health emergency. The WHO declared a global health emergency in 2019 for the Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo that killed more than 2,000 people; in 2016 for the Zika virus, the 2009 H1N1 swine flu and the 2014 polio and Ebola outbreaks.
  • Chinese authorities said many of the patients with the illness had been in contact with a seafood market.
  • The disease is similar to SARS — severe acute respiratory syndrome — which killed more than 600 people in mainland China and Hong Kong and 100 more around the world in 2002-2003. Signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia, kidney failure and death. The CDC says you can protect yourself from the contagious virus by washing your hands with soap and water, avoiding touching your face and staying away from sick people.
  • Some airline and hotel stocks fell on fears that the outbreak will affect international travel and tourism.

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