The second death was in a man in his 70s at a nursing home near Seattle, where more than 50 patients and staff members have symptoms
A second person in the U.S. has died after contracting the new coronavirus, Washington state health officials confirmed on Sunday, and a nursing home outside Seattle is dealing with the start of an outbreak among patients and staff.
The second death, which came just one day after the first, was also in Washington state. It occurred in a man in his 70s with underlying health conditions who was living at a long-term nursing facility in Kirkland, just outside of Seattle. Of the 108 patients and 25 staff at the nursing home, more than 50 are showing symptoms and will be tested for the disease. Four of the patients have confirmed cases of coronavirus.
Outside of Washington, where there are now a total of 17 confirmed cases, three states — New York, Florida and Rhode Island — announced their first known cases of coronavirus.
In New York, a 39-year-old female health care worker who recently returned from Iran is quarantined in her Manhattan apartment.
Florida now has two cases of coronavirus, both in adults — one near Sarasota, and another near Tampa. In response, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a public health emergency in the state.
And in Rhode Island, two people have been diagnosed with coronavirus after returning from a school trip to Italy, through St. Raphael’s Academy, a Catholic school in Pawtucket. One patient is a teenage girl, while the other is a man in his mid-40s. A third person from the trip is currently being tested for the virus after showing symptoms. The school has closed for the week.
As of March 2, there are 88 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S., 28 of which are due to community spread, meaning people with coronavirus are unknowingly exposing people in their areas to the disease. Experts believe more cases in the U.S. will be confirmed as disease testing becomes more widely available.
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control urged Americans to start preparing for the virus to spread in the U.S. with the “expectation that this will be bad.”
“It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country anymore but a question of when this will happen,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, said in a press briefing on Tuesday.
The CDC also says that the best prevention methods are basic forms of hygiene — careful handwashing, avoiding touching the face, moving away from people who are coughing or sneezing and staying home at signs of illness.