NEW YORK, N.Y. (CBS) – Federal health officials have confirmed the first “person to person” case of the Coronavirus in the United States. The announcement comes as the World Health Organization declares the outbreak a public health emergency. Michael George has the latest from New York.
The CDC has confirmed the first “Person to Person” transmission of the coronavirus in the U.S. Health officials say it involves a previously confirmed case, in which a woman in her 60s who had traveled to Wuhan, China in December and returned to Chicago earlier this month. She infected her husband. Health officials say both are hospitalized in stable condition.
Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said, “The risk to the general public in Illinois remains low. This person to person contact was between two very close contacts a husband and wife.”
Health officials are tracking people the couple had been in contact with.
“We could see more cases among individuals who have had close contact,” Ezike said.
The news comes as the World Health Organization declares a public health emergency. The agency praised China’s response to the outbreak but says other countries with weaker health systems are at risk.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “The only way we will defeat this outbreak is for all countries to work together in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation. We are all in this together.”
In Italy, thousands of passengers, including 114 Americans, were not allowed to leave a cruise ship while tests were conducted on a female passenger from China who came down with flu-like symptoms.
China has reported more than 7,800 cases of the new coronavirus including 170 deaths. Eighteen other countries have since confirmed almost 100 additional cases combined, with no deaths.
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