The patient, a Chicago resident, was visiting Wuhan over the past month and returned on January 13, 2020. A few days after her return, she was admitted to a hospital after experiencing symptoms of the virus. She remains hospitalized in isolation and is reportedly stable and doing well.
Although it is believed that the patient has limited close contacts and has had limited movement outside of her home, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Chicago Department of Public Health are currently investigating possible locations where this patient traveled after returning to Illinois and are identifying any close contacts who were possibly exposed.
While the health risks from the virus to the general public is considered low at this time, the CDC warns that it is likely that there will be more cases reported in the US in the coming weeks.
In China, over 300 people have been infected and six have died.
The new virus is in the same family as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus that spread around the world in 2003.
The Center for Disease Control reports that Chinese officials have confirmed that the new coronavirus can be transmitted between people (as opposed to just animals to humans), but it’s not clear if it’s as deadly as the SARS virus.