January 30, 2020
A close contact of one of the U.S. patients with the novel coronavirus also has become infected, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.
The case marks the first person-to-person transmission of the virus in the United States.
The news came shortly before the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency. The WHO soon will implement a global plan addressing the rapidly evolving situation.
The new American patient lives with a Chicago woman who contracted the coronavirus while traveling to Wuhan, China the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, according to NBC News. China has now confirmed more than 8,000 cases of the virus and at least 170 people have died.
The CDC has confirmed six cases of the coronavirus: two in Chicago, two in California and one each in Arizona and Washington state.
Health officials have investigated 165 patients for possible coronavirus infection. So far, 68 patients have tested negative for the virus. Another 91 cases are pending.
While coronavirus marks a serious threat, the CDC says that the risk to Americans is low.
Locally, New Jersey has set up a 24-hour hotline to answer any questions about the coronavirus outbreak. In Philadelphia, health officials are investigating a second possible case of the virus. The first case, involving, an exchange student at William Penn Charter School, proved negative.