COVID-19

United States officials are responding to the first case of coronavirus

Andy Uhler Jan 22, 2020
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A woman wears a mask on the first day of screenings for coronavirus of travelers from Wuhan, China. David McNew/Getty Images
COVID-19

United States officials are responding to the first case of coronavirus

Andy Uhler Jan 22, 2020
A woman wears a mask on the first day of screenings for coronavirus of travelers from Wuhan, China. David McNew/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

A man in Washington state has been diagnosed with coronavirus, the first case confirmed in the United States of the potentially deadly virus discovered in China last month. It’s killed at least six people there and sickened hundreds more.

The hospitalized U.S. resident flew to Washington last week. That was before federal health officials began screening travelers from the central Chinese city of Wuhan at international airports. Screening is often the first containment measure offered by the Centers for Disease Control.

“What CDC is doing is pretty much all we can do, now,” said Ogbonnaya Omenka, assistant professor of health sciences at Butler University. He said that while it’s still early, this virus doesn’t seem to be spreading quickly from person to person. 

Emily Martin, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan, said the CDC has a budget for when a new sickness emerges.

“So there’s a pot of money that’s kind of reserved and ready to go anytime there’s a new situation,” she said, adding that it’s local healthcare systems that feel the pinch once a case is identified in a given region.

“You get this rush of patients coming to clinics and hospitals and that’s where there’s a big economic impact,” she said.

Shares in pharmaceutical firms and mask makers in China have surged this week because of the outbreak

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