Eleventh Case of Coronavirus Confirmed in the U.S. as Death Toll in China Surpasses SARS Outbreak
Three additional people have been infected with the coronavirus in the United States, bringing the total number of cases to 11.
On Friday, a seventh infection was detected in California, according to a statement from the CDC. The patient had recently returned from Wuhan, China, which is the epicenter of the disease.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced on Saturday that an eighth infection had been confirmed in Boston. The man, who is in his 20s, had recently returned from Wuhan.
Three additional cases were confirmed in California on Sunday, according to The New York Times. San Benito County’s Health and Human Services agency said in a statement that a husband, who had recently traveled to Wuhan, and his wife had contracted the disease, making it the second case of human to human transmission in the country.
As of Sunday, China’s Health Commission reported that the number of fatalities from the coronavirus had reached 361 nationwide, meaning the death toll had exceeded that of the SARS outbreak, which killed 349 people in mainland China, the Times reported. China’s Health Commission also reported that there had been 475 recoveries.
Over the weekend, the first death outside of China was reported, the CDC confirmed at a press conference on Monday. The man, who was 44 and lived in Wuhan, died in the Philippines on Saturday, the Worldwide Health Organization said in a statement.
The U.S. is among 19 countries that the virus, currently referred to as 2019-nCoV as researchers work to understand more about this version of coronavirus, has spread to.
Until Thursday, all U.S. cases of the disease were in people who had traveled to Wuhan. But the CDC announced that the first U.S. case of human to human transmission occurred in a husband and wife in Chicago.
Still, the CDC has stressed that the majority of Americans are at “low” risk of contracting the virus, particularly as several major airlines, including Delta and American, have announced that they are canceling all flights to or from China for the next few months.
In a press briefly on Friday, Messonnier also urged Americans to “not let fear or panic guide your actions,” emphasizing that it is not right to assume that a person of Asian descent has the coronavirus.
“Please do not assume that because a person is of Asian descent, that they have this new coronavirus,” she said. “There are 4 million Chinese-Americans in this country.”
The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a “public health emergency,” after a week of deliberations and a previous decision to hold off on any declarations.
On Friday, a high-ranking Chinese official said he feels “guilty” for not acting quicker to stop the spread of coronavirus, The New York Times reported.
“Above all, I feel guilty and remorseful and I reproach myself,” Feng Guoqiang, the Communist Party secretary of Wuhan, said in an interview on China’s main television network, CCTV. “I’ve been constantly thinking that if I’d made the decision earlier to take the kind of strict controls we have in place now, the outcome would have been much better than now.”