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A Chicago woman diagnosed with coronavirus remains in good condition in isolation, officials have said.
Health officials announced the first US case of person-to-person spread of the virus and the second case in Illinois on Thursday – the husband of the Chicago woman.
The woman, in her 60s, developed symptoms after a January visit to China’s Wuhan region, where the virus outbreak originated.
At the time she was only the second person in America to be officially diagnosed with the infection. Officially there are now 8 cases in the US.
Test results for another 73 people are currently pending; 32 cases have tested negative, according to the CDC.
An infant grandson of the Chicago man diagnosed with the virus is among those being tested for the virus, according to family members. The child was taken to an area hospital after developing a fever, though the cause of the symptom remains unclear.
The virus has been confirmed in France, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, Taiwan, and Australia, among 17 other countries.
The woman first diagnosed with the disease in Chicago started to develop symptoms three to four days after arriving at O’Hare International Airport on January 13.
She was immediately placed in a special isolation unit after visiting her doctor, but was never critically ill, according to health authorities.
In between her return to Chicago and her hospitalization, the woman mostly stayed at home, but authorities have checked those with whom she had contact. All of those people were considered to be well last week.
On Friday, the Trump administration declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency and set quarantines on those who had recently visited some parts of China.
For days, protective masks have been sold out in Hoffman Estates, where the two infected patients are being treated.
People are not only taking protective measures for themselves – some dog owners have purchased anti-bacterial muzzles for the pets, despite news from the World Health Organization that pets are highly unlikely to get infected.
Others, however, are less worried. Speaking to USA Today, licensed EMT Preena Patel said: “I’m not really too worried about the coronavirus. The hospital seems to have it under control and in isolation. I feel like if there was a threat, the CDC would have reported it.”
Reg Niadoo, 39, said he and his family are continuing to go about their lives as normal. He said: “We’ve heard about it and read all the articles, but (the town) is pretty calm.”
Most recent news on the outbreak has confirmed that the death of a 44-year-old man in the Philippines is the first to die of the coronavirus outside of China.
The man, a resident of Wuhan, China, died on Saturday after developing what officials called ‘severe pneumonia’.
In a statement, the WHO said: “Over the course of the patient’s admission, he developed severe pneumonia due to viral and bacterial infections (S. pneumonia and Influenza B). In his last few days, the patient was stable and showed signs of improvement, however, the condition of the patient deteriorated within his last 24 hours resulting in his demise.”
Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III reassured the public in the statement.
He said: “I would like to emphasize that this is an imported case with no evidence of local transmission. We are currently working with the Chinese Embassy to ensure the dignified management of the remains according to national and international standards to contain the disease.”
The public continues to be reminded to wash their hands regularly and ‘observe cough etiquette’. The Department of Health is advising people to remain ‘calm and vigilant’.