First U.S. COVID-19 Death, HCP Infection Confirmed

01 Mars, 2020, 04:11 | Auteur: Yves Courtet

The first death from the novel coronavirus has been confirmed on U.S. soil, in Washington state, health officials said Saturday, after a handful of cases of unknown origin were detected, indicating the disease was spreading in the country.

President Trump misidentified the first patient in the United States to die from coronavirus during a press conference on Saturday, calling the man "a wonderful woman". "The best thing people can do to help is remain informed and take routine health precautions", Gov. Jay Inslee said.

At least four cases of the virus have recently been reported in the US with no known origins.

The state's health department plans to hold a news conference at 1 p.m.

This past week, though, four new cases, in California, Oregon and Washington, were the first in the USA where the cause was mysterious and unknown - a sign, experts warned, that the virus, which has killed more than 2,800 people worldwide and sickened tens of thousands, might now be spreading in the U.S.

With new coronavirus cases reported in California, Washington and OR, officials are trying to accelerate testing as they try to stem what experts and officials believe is an inevitable spread of the virus into communities.

California now has two patients who did not recently travel outside the US or come in contact with someone who did.

Coronavirus test results for the student, officials said, then came back "presumptive positive", and the student returned home before attending class. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said his agency is "rapidly responding and adapting to this dynamic and evolving situation".

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New coronavirus cases in OR and Washington
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said his agency is "rapidly responding and adapting to this dynamic and evolving situation". A woman in her 50s returned from traveling in Daegu, South Korea, on Sunday, Feb. 23.

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The number of coronavirus victims was not disclosed.

The health officials reported two cases of COVID-19 virus connected to a long-term care facility in the same suburb, Life Care Center of Kirkland.

News of the first fatality arrived one day after health officials in California, Oregon, and Washington state confirmed three patients were infected by unknown means.

"The individual is now in home isolation and is doing well", Dr. Chris Spitters, interim health officer for the Snohomish Health District, said at a press conference Friday. "While the vast majority of cases of COVID-19 are believed to be mild, the virus can be a very serious infection that can lead to death".

An additional 47 cases have been confirmed among people recently repatriated, either from the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Japan or from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the supposed epicenter of the outbreak, according to the CDC.

"We want to lower the amount of travel to and from the most impacted areas", Alex Azar, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services said.

The virus has infected more than 80,000 people, mostly in China.

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