With at least five confirmed cases across four of the United States, China’s health minister, Ma Xiaowei, warns the Wuhan coronavirus may be spread before an infected person shows symptoms. This means it could be spread by people who don’t even know they have it yet. Of the five known cases, two were reported in California – Los Angeles County and Orange County. The remaining cases are confirmed in Arizona, Washington state, and Chicago, IL. Now. All five people had traveled to Wuhan before returning home to the United States. The good news is that none of the patients appear in serious condition so far.
Coronavirus is Low-Risk for Americans
The CDC maintains 2019-nCoV is still considered to be low-risk for Americans. We also still need to confirm the virus can be spread from person to person before showing symptoms. Though China’s health minister warns this could be the case, the CDC does not yet have clear evidence to support this conclusion and are continuing their investigation. This would be a bad thing because it could make virus containment more difficult. The good news, though, is that scientists say this virus is genetically similar to SARS. SARS was spread primarily through close person-to-person contact when an infected person showed symptoms. To be clear, this outbreak is evolving, so we can’t rule out anything just yet. Other viruses such as the chickenpox, measles, mumps, and rubella can infect others before symptoms appear.
More Cases to Come
The CDC predicts more coronavirus cases will be reported in the United States. At least 110 people across 26 states are being monitored. On the bright side, 32 people who thought they had the coronavirus turned out to have something else, and 73 are still waiting for results. In order to contain the situation, those being monitored are asked to quarantine themselves away from the public while they await test reesults. Several airports are also still screening travelers from Wuhan. And, as always, everyone should maintain proper hygiene by washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds and coughing and sneezing into your elbow. With the coronavirus and flu virus affecting so many, the CDC also recommends you stay home if you are ill, and avoid people who are sick.