First human transmission of coronavirus confirmed in Illinois, CDC says

The first human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus in the United States has been confirmed in Illinois, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.

On a call with reporters, CDC officials confirmed a woman who was diagnosed earlier this month as having the 2019 novel coronavirus had infected her spouse, Newsday reported.

Health officials confirmed last week that a Chicago woman in her 60s tested positive for coronavirus after recent travel to Wuhan, China, the city where the virus originated. Officials with the Chicago Department of Public health said she was in stable condition and doing well Friday.

The woman told officials she began to feel ill a few days after returning Jan. 13 from a trip to Wuhan, according to Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health. Arwady said last week that health officials believed “she had not had extended close contact with anyone outside her home since returning from China.”

“While there are many unknowns, CDC believes that the immediate risk to the American public continues to be low at this time, but that the situation continues to evolve rapidly," Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said last week. “CDC recommends travelers avoid all non-essential travel to Wuhan. We also recommend people traveling to other parts of China practice certain health precautions, like avoiding contact with people who are sick and practicing good hand hygiene.”

Since last month, health officials have confirmed cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus in more than 20 countries, including the U.S. and Canada, according to the CDC. In America, four people have been confirmed as having been infected with the coronavirus in addition to the couple in Illinois: one in Washington, two in California and one in Arizona.

As of Thursday, about 7,700 people have become ill and 170 have died since the coronavirus was first detected last month in Wuhan, China, according to The Associated Press. No cases outside China have proved fatal thus far, according to officials.

Officials recommend that any people who have recently traveled to Wuhan and subsequently experienced flu-like symptoms -- including fever, coughing, shortness of breath or a sore throat -- contact their health care providers.

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