United States Coronavirus Update

American Citizen Dead From Coronavirus


Photo courtesy of: Chinatopix, via Associated Press

Leo Nicholson, Junior Editor

The first American death from the Coronavirus was reported on February 6. As of February 6, there are 13 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States. 

The most recent patient was confirmed Wednesday in Madison, Wisconsin. Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 33,000 people and killed more than 700, mostly in China. 

According to the United States Embassy, in Beijing, the 60-year-old American citizen died at Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Two people familiar with the matter said the person was a woman and had underlying health conditions.

According to the New York Times, it was not clear whether the woman had tried to leave the city on any of the flights organized by the State Department, which have evacuated diplomats and other American citizens from Wuhan, Beijing and other parts of China.

“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss,” a spokesman for the United States Embassy in Beijing said. “Out of respect for the family’s privacy, we have no further comment.”

Photo courtesy of: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

In the United States, there have been seven confirmed cases in California, two confirmed cases in Illinois, one confirmed case in Arizona, one confirmed case in Washington, one confirmed case in Massachusetts, and one confirmed case in Wisconsin. 

The first confirmed case in the United States is a 35-year-old man from the Seattle, Washington area. According to CBS News, he had traveled to Wuhan, China and arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Wednesday, January 15. “While the current situation poses a public health threat, we have no evidence the virus is spreading in Washington so the risk to the general public is low,” the state’s Department of Health says. The man was treated at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and then released, officials said in a statement February 3. “The patient remains in isolation at home and is being monitored by the Snohomish Health District, in coordination with his care team at Providence,” the statement said. The man, who was not publicly identified, issued a statement asking for privacy and saying: “I am at home and continuing to get better. … I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and [the] entire team at Providence who cared for me. I appreciate all of the concern expressed by members of the public, and I look forward to returning to my normal life.”

According to CBS News, on January 24, the second case of coronavirus was confirmed in a woman in her 60s in Chicago, who had returned from Wuhan, China, a few days earlier. She was being treated at St. Alexius Hospital in Hoffman Estates, according to CBS Chicago. On January 30, health officials said the woman’s husband, also in his 60s, who had not been in China, was also diagnosed with the virus. This is the first known case of human-to-human transmission of coronavirus in the United States. They were released from the hospital into home isolation on February 6. The couple issued a statement through the hospital saying, “…the care and the services we’ve received have been great … but we’re definitely looking forward to getting home and getting life back to normal.”

There are seven confirmed cases of the coronavirus in California: one person in San Diego, two people in Santa Clara County, two people in San Benito County, one person in Los Angeles County and one person in Orange County, according to the CDC and the California Department of Health. Six of those patients had recently returned from Wuhan, China. Health officials said there was also one case of person-to-person transmission when a traveler infected their spouse. Both are reported to be in stable condition.

The only public information released on the coronavirus cases in California is on a married couple who were diagnosed on Sunday, February 2. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, they were transported to a hospital in San Francisco on Monday, February 3.

Photo courtesy of: Getty Images

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, one person in the state has been diagnosed with coronavirus. The infected person recently returned from Wuhan, China and is a “member of the Arizona State University community but does not live in university housing,” CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO reports. The person lives in Tempe, Arizona, an ASU spokesperson confirmed.

A man in his 20s was diagnosed with coronavirus in Boston on February 1, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The man had recently traveled home from Wuhan, China. He is a student at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, but does not live in a campus dorm, CBS Boston reports. “We are grateful for him seeking medical attention immediately,” said Dr. Monica Bharel, the Boston Public Health Commissioner.

On Wednesday, February 5, officials in Wisconsin confirmed one person in Madison was infected with the coronavirus. The patient “had recently traveled to Beijing, China, and interacted with individuals from Wuhan, China, and presented with symptoms consistent with the virus upon their return to Madison,” UW Health said in a statement. The main symptoms of the illness typically include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Dr. Nasia Safdar, Medical Director of Infection Control at UW Health stated, “Since initial treatment at University Hospital, the patient has been self-quarantined at home.” In an update Friday, February 7, health officials said the patient remained in home isolation and was doing well.

According to the New York Times, some Trump administration officials have “previously expressed skepticism over China’s handling of the outbreak,” but President Trump has praised Chinese leaders on Friday, February 7. President Trump told reporters in Washington that he had spoken with President Xi Jinping of China on the telephone late Thursday, February 6. “They’re working really hard and I think they’re doing a very professional job,” he said.

President Trump speaking February 6 at the White House
Photo courtesy of: Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump has said that he likes and admires Mr. Xi, and he has toned down his attacks on China since the two sides signed an agreement last month to halt a damaging trade war that President Trump started in 2018.

“Just had a long and very good conversation by phone with President Xi of China. He is strong, sharp and powerfully focused on leading the counterattack on the Coronavirus,” President Trump wrote. “He feels they are doing very well, even building hospitals in a matter of only days. Nothing is easy, but…he will be successful, especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone. Great discipline is taking place in China, as President Xi strongly leads what will be a very successful operation. We are working closely with China to help!”

According to the Washington Post, the virus has also been confirmed in France, India, Hong Kong, Japan, Nepal, Cambodia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Taiwan, Canada, and Sri Lanka. According to CNN, as of February 17, there are over 71,000 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus around the world.