First case of Wuhan Coronavirus discovered in US

Jim Hanzo
January 22, 2020 - 3:04 pm
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The first United States case of the Wuhan Coronavirus has been reported in Washington State, and while it’s has spread rapidly in China the CDC says the virus doesn’t pose much of a threat to Americans.

The virus is transmitted person to person in Wuhan City, China.  LSU Health New Orleans Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Fred Lopez says to take note if you’ve developed respiratory issues or fever, and have traveled to that part of the world, or have been around a person that has been diagnosed with a coronavirus infection, or a suspected coronavirus infection.

Lopez says if that is the case you will be screened.

The U.S. case does not appear to be serious, but Lopez says at the moment there’s not much that can be done if you come down with the illness that’s killed about 20 people so far.

“There is no vaccine, and there is no targeted anti-viral therapy against this coronavirus, so really it is just supportive care and being able to identify cases as quickly as possible,” Lopez said.  

An estimated 450 people have been infected with the virus so far, but authorities are concerned that number could rapidly rise as travel increases during the Chinese New Year this weekend.

While it’s unlikely you’ll be exposed to the virus, Lopez says the biggest impact it could have on Louisiana is for those who’ll be traveling.

“Five airports in this country are screening for people who might be infected with this virus who are coming from that area of the world,” Lopez said.  

Flights from China are being routed through the screening airports which include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Atlanta.

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