On Thursday, U.S. health officials told about the country’s first human-to-human transmission of the Wuhan’s coronavirus, which has already killed more than 171 people in China and sickened at least 8,200, since emerging less than a month ago.
The affected person is the husband of a Chicago woman who carried the infection back from Wuhan, China, the origin of the outbreak, said the CDC and Illinois health officials during a press briefing. They told reports the patient, in his 60s, bear “some underlying medical issues” but was in stable condition. His wife was reported well but remained at a local hospital for treatment.
Public health authorities are monitoring 21 more patients in Illinois for any possible coronavirus infections.
Coronavirus: A serious situation for China and the world
“This is becoming a very serious public health situation,” said Dr Nancy Messonnier, director at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “Stepping ahead, we can expect to see more cases, and this means more risk for person-to-person spread,” she added.
The virus, which first appeared on December 31, has now passed the 2003 SARS epidemic, which infected approximately 8,100 people worldwide over a period of nine months.
The confirmation of coronavirus transmission makes the United States the fifth country where the infection is now mushrooming through human-to-human contact.
Correspondents of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there’re at least nine cases of human-to-human transmission recorded outside of China, as of Thursday.