Mysterious and Deadly Respiratory Virus in China Reaches the US

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Posted: Jan 21, 2020 2:50 PM
Mysterious and Deadly Respiratory Virus in China Reaches the US

Source: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

The mysterious and deadly Wuhan coronavirus that has killed six people throughout Asia has made it to the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The patient, who had just returned from a trip to central China, is reported to be in Washington state. 

The man is a resident of Snohomish County, Wash., who experienced symptoms after returning from a trip to the region around Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began. He was hospitalized with pneumonia last week, and infection with the coronavirus was confirmed on Monday afternoon. (New York Times)

The respiratory infection, which is reported to have begun in a seafood and poultry market in Wuhan, China, has infected nearly 300 people. The virus is spreading between people, according to health experts, with over two dozen health workers having been infected.

The World Health Organization is expected to meet on Wednesday to determine whether or not to declare the outbreak an international public health emergency. In the meantime, government officials are limiting travel to and from Wuhan and heightening security measures, an especially tricky task considering it is the week of the Chinese New Year.

China’s national health commission has categorized the virus, a coronavirus related to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), as a Class B infectious disease. The classification gives the central government the power to shut down travel to, from and within a city, and to take other emergency measures that would effectively shut a city down.