Public Health

1st Person-To-Person Spread Of Coronavirus Has Occurred In U.S., CDC Says

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director, speaks during a press conference Tuesday at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director, speaks during a press conference Tuesday at the Department of Health and Human Services.
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Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET

The first human-to-human transmission of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus has occurred in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.

The respiratory virus was spread from a woman who had recently traveled to China and gave it to her husband when she returned to Chicago, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said.

It’s the sixth confirmed case of the new coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, in the U.S.

In addition to Illinois, other cases have been confirmed in California, Arizona, and Washington state. Worldwide, the Wuhan coronavirus has spread to at least 20 countries since it was identified last month, the CDC says.

Illinois health officials are currently investigating 21 other possible cases in the state. The CDC says the relatively few people who have been identified as close contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus infections should follow the guidance of their doctors and health departments.

The CDC says members of the public do not need to wear masks out of concern for the coronavirus.

To reduce the chance of spreading any respiratory illness, the CDC recommends that people take simple steps such as washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoiding close contact with anyone who is sick.

People returning from Wuhan and other areas of high-risk in China should be vigilant for signs of illness, including fever and cough, according to the CDC. Those people should call their health care provider if symptoms do develop.

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