A US citizen who recently returned from a trip to central China has been diagnosed with the new coronavirus virus that has sparked an outbreak and stringent monitoring around the world.
The man returned to the Seattle area in the middle of last week after travelling to the Wuhan area, where the outbreak began.
The man is in his 30s and is said to be in good condition at a hospital in Everett, outside Seattle.
The US is the fifth country to report seeing the illness, following China, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea.
— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) January 21, 2020
Later on Tuesday the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said it expects to see more cases of the Wuhan coronavirus in the United States.
Late last week, health officials began screening passengers from central China at US airports.
Officials around the world have implemented similar airport screenings in hopes of containing the virus during the busy Lunar New Year travel season.
Last month, doctors began seeing a new type of viral pneumonia – fever, cough, difficulty breathing – in people who spent time at a food market in Wuhan.
More than 275 cases of the newly identified coronavirus have been confirmed in China, most of them in Wuhan, according to the World Health Organization.
With the CDC confirming the first case of the Wuhan coronavirus here in the United States in Seattle, Washington, there are definitely more cases than have been estimated. The virus has an incubation time of 8-10 days so people probably traveled internationally without symptoms.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) January 21, 2020
The count includes six deaths – all in China, most of them age 60 or older, including at least some who had a previous medical condition.
Officials have said it probably spread from animals to people, but this week Chinese officials said they’ve concluded it also can spread from person to person.
In announcing the airport screenings last week, CDC officials said then risk to the American public was low but that it was likely the illness would appear in the US at some point.