Health officials in Chicago and at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday confirmed the second U.S. case of the new coronavirus from China in a Chicago woman, and said as many as 63 potential cases in the U.S. were being investigated as the sometimes deadly illness continues to spread around the globe.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. ALLISON ARWARDY, COMMISSIONER OF THE CHICAGO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH, SAYING: "This morning, the CDC announced confirmation of the second case of the coronavirus… the patient is a Chicago resident." A woman in her 60s is in stable condition at a Chicago hospital, Friday, the second confirmed case of coronavirus in the U.S. Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said the woman returned to the U.S. earlier this month from Wuhan, China - where the virus originates from.
Despite rising public fears of a spread of coronavirus, which can be deadly, Arwady said this second case is not a local emergency.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. ALLISON ARWARDY, COMMISSIONER OF THE CHICAGO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH, SAYING: "We know she has not taken public transportation.
She has not attended any large gatherings and according to our knowledge at this point, she has not had extended close contact with anyone outside of her home since returning from China and being admitted to the hospital." The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday said as many as 63 potential cases were being investigated across 22 states.
Eleven have so far tested negative... and the CDC claims the immediate risk to Americans remains low.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR IMMUNIZATION AND RESPIRATORY DISEASES AT CDC, NANCY MESSONNIER, SAYING: "However, the situation is evolving quickly.
We do expect to see more cases in the United States.
We expect to see human to human transmission.
And we may have cases among close contacts." The newly discovered virus has killed 26 people and infected more than 800, mostly in China, which has imposed severe restrictions on travel and public gatherings.
The World Health Organization on Thursday declared the virus an "emergency in China," but stopped short of declaring it a global health emergency.