Illinois woman is 2nd US patient with new virus from China

A Chicago woman has become the second U.S. patient diagnosed with the dangerous new virus from China, health officials announced Friday.

Posted: Jan 24, 2020 12:38 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Chicago woman has become the second U.S. patient diagnosed with the dangerous new virus from China, health officials announced Friday.

The woman in her 60s returned from China on Jan. 13 without showing any signs of illness, but three or four days later she called her doctor to report feeling sick.

The patient is doing well and remains hospitalized “primarily for infection control,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s public health commissioner.

Earlier this week, a man in Washington state became the first U.S. patient, also diagnosed after returning from a trip to the outbreak’s epicenter in central China.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expecting more Americans to be diagnosed with the newly discovered virus in coming days, as worldwide the number of confirmed cases has passed 800.

The virus can cause fever, coughing, wheezing and pneumonia. It is a member of the coronavirus family that’s a close cousin to the deadly SARS and MERS viruses that have caused outbreaks in the past.

Still, “CDC believes that the immediate risk to the American public continues to be low at this time, but the situation continues to evolve rapidly,” said CDC’s Dr. Nancy Messonnier.

And those first two patients did the right thing, recognizing their travel risk and alerting doctors to it, so that health authorities could get them isolated to prevent spread, tested promptly, and start monitoring people who’ve had close contact with them.

The incubation period is thought to be two weeks. But it’s also a heavy flu season, and some of the symptoms are similar, Messonnier said.

“We want everyone to err on the side of caution if they have those symptoms and have a travel history,” she stressed.

Illinois health officials did not identify the hospital where the woman is in isolation.

The Washington state patient was in satisfactory condition Friday in an isolation unit at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, 30 miles north of Seattle. Nurses who’ve trained for Ebola patients are providing his care, wearing hoods with plastic face shields and using respirators to breathe filtered air. They are bagging and storing disposable gloves, linens and gowns until the CDC tells them what to do with the patient’s medical waste.

“We have been preparing for this since 2015,” said Robin Addison, one of the nurses and co-leader of the hospital’s biocontainment team. The hospital is one of about 150 nationwide ready to assess patients with Ebola or other highly contagious diseases, with training money provided by Congress.

Nationally, over 2,000 returning travelers had been screened at U.S. airports and 63 patients in 22 states were being tested, although 11 of them so far have been found free of the virus, the CDC said.

China has issued massive travel bans in hard-hit sections of that country to try to stem spread of the virus. For now, CDC said it will keep up its screening process at five U.S. airports but will reevaluate its necessity.

“Right now, our response is very much a work in progress,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., as lawmakers emerged from a briefing with federal health authorities. “There’s a lot we’re still learning.”

In Chicago, the health commissioner said the newest patient hadn’t had close contact with many people since becoming ill or taken public transportation or attended large gatherings.

“This is all very reassuring as far as infection risk to the general public,” Arwady said.

“There is no need for the general public to change their behavior in any way.”

_____

AP writers Alan Fram in Washington, Carla K. Johnson in Seattle and Ed White in Chicago contributed to this report.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Cases: 1680908

Reported Deaths: 28023
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Cook63626111214
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Will915681128
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Macon15344252
LaSalle15078287
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Adams13188152
DeKalb12201134
Williamson12091175
Whiteside8328183
Jackson810494
Boone796583
Coles7918125
Ogle759290
Grundy741386
Franklin7339115
Knox7321169
Clinton7136102
Macoupin6988106
Marion6935144
Henry666177
Effingham6639100
Jefferson6573143
Livingston599498
Stephenson587893
Woodford578492
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Christian536682
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Monroe5258103
Morgan5088100
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Lee479760
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Fayette432464
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McDonough374861
Shelby349848
Jersey336953
Lawrence335533
Crawford333730
Douglas328437
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White280833
Richland280157
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Clark266940
Cass266531
Pike265658
Edgar260649
Clay259854
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Ford246059
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Scott7126
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Unassigned1342433
Out of IL140

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 1007681

Reported Deaths: 16470
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1355212121
Lake664101166
Allen57993801
Hamilton46350465
St. Joseph44397615
Elkhart35949510
Vanderburgh32251480
Tippecanoe27933260
Johnson25107445
Hendricks23897359
Porter22929365
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Clark18557252
Vigo17479303
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Delaware15073263
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Hancock11728176
Bartholomew11639180
Warrick11292189
Floyd11108215
Wayne10986253
Grant10082220
Morgan9472176
Boone8926115
Dubois8271131
Henry8229152
Dearborn822393
Noble8031106
Marshall7939135
Cass7546121
Lawrence7457171
Shelby7189119
Jackson698289
Gibson6597115
Harrison649192
Knox6421106
Huntington6395100
DeKalb632399
Montgomery6264111
Miami593398
Putnam581278
Clinton576171
Whitley565755
Steuben562576
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Jefferson511297
Ripley500586
Adams482576
Daviess4677114
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White418764
Decatur4169102
Fayette406587
Jennings387361
Posey376644
Washington359151
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Randolph3452100
Spencer340243
Fountain335760
Sullivan329452
Starke317171
Owen314771
Fulton312667
Orange293664
Jay284645
Franklin265643
Perry265452
Rush262432
Carroll261934
Vermillion258654
Parke231426
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