First Confirmed US Case of New Coronavirus in Everett, WA

Earlier we posted an article about a new coronavirus originating in China which was now believed to be spreading from person to person. A few hours later, the first confirmed US case was made public, the person who had returned from travel in China is being treated in Everett, WA.

Update 1/22/20: Deaths from this coronavirus have gone up to 17 (yesterday the number stood at 9) and there are now suspected cases in Mexico and Russia.

From the Everett Herald:

The first case of Wuhan Coronavirus reported in the United States is a Snohomish County man in his 30s who traveled to China, federal and local officials announced Tuesday.

The patient was reported to be doing well and in stable condition at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, according to the Snohomish Health District.

The outbreak of the mysterious, pneumonia-like virus originated in Wuhan, China, and is linked to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting it is possibly of animal origin. At least nine people have died — all in China, most 60 or older, including at least some who had a previous medical condition. Hundreds have been sickened worldwide.

This week Chinese officials concluded it can spread from person to person. How easily it spreads is unknown.

As of Tuesday, the Snohomish County man was in a special isolation unit, where he was expected to stay for at least the next two days.

“We are grateful that the patient is doing well, and that he’s currently not ill, and that he has been so cooperative,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “… Our first priority was clearly making sure that this patient was healthy and being appropriately treated as we move on to the next phase.”

The man is a Chinese immigrant who was visiting his home country. He’s a legal permanent resident of the U.S., Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday afternoon at a news conference at the state Public Health Laboratories in Shoreline. The man transferred flights at least once before arriving at Sea-Tac Airport on Jan. 15, but an exact itinerary hasn’t been released.

At that time he showed no symptoms, health officials said.

“In this case, we don’t believe even if we had active screening at the airport that this patient would have been picked up, because at the time we don’t believe the patient had any symptoms of the fever,” said John Weissman, the Washington state secretary of health.

On Sunday, four days after the man returned to Washington, he started to feel ill. He went to a medical clinic in Snohomish County. Staff advised him to go home and stay isolated, while lab tests were conducted.

“We were in communication with the CDC Emergency Operations Center, coordinating specimens that were shipped overnight and had the results the following day,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist. “Incredibly fast.”

The man was transported to the north Everett hospital Monday, according to the state Department of Health.

Now the top priority for officials is tracing his contacts, to determine who is at risk. The man was traveling alone but took group transportation home from Sea-Tac. He lives by himself. Health officials described the number of possible contacts since he got back to the U.S. as small. State officials said he’s been very helpful in identifying people he’d contacted over the past few days. Those people will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.

“Providence is contacting the small number of staff and patients who may have come in contact with the patient at one of our clinics,” a hospital news release said. “We are also implementing a screening system in our electronic health record to identify patients at risk for this infection.”

The Snohomish County case was announced nationally Tuesday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“No one wants to be the first in the nation in these types of situations, but these are the types of situations that public health and its partners train and prepare for,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, health officer for the Snohomish Health District. “Because of this, everything has been going along quite smoothly.”

The CDC had implemented public health entry screening at airports in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. This week Atlanta and Chicago are being added. Anyone flying from Wuhan to the United States will be funneled through one of those airports. Officials around the world are conducting similar airport screenings elsewhere, with the goal of containing the virus during the busy Lunar New Year travel season.

There were 440 cases reported worldwide Tuesday, and the U.S. joined a growing list of places outside mainland China reporting cases, following Thailand, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Federal officials consider the risk to the American public at large as low. However, Dr. Messonnier expected to see more cases in the U.S. and around the world in the coming days.

Travelers wearing face masks gather at Hong Kong International Airport on Tuesday to get squirts of antibacterial lotion after the outbreak of a new coronavirus that has reached Snohomish County — the first confirmed case in the U.S. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Travelers wearing face masks gather at Hong Kong International Airport on Tuesday to get squirts of antibacterial lotion after the outbreak of a new coronavirus that has reached Snohomish County — the first confirmed case in the U.S. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

In general, it can take two weeks for symptoms to show up, state health officials said Tuesday. The coronavirus family includes those that cause the common cold, but some found in bats, camels and other animals have evolved into more severe illnesses like SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, and MERS, Middle East respiratory syndrome.

Initial symptoms of the new coronavirus include fever, cough, tightness of the chest and shortness of breath.

Click here to read the entire article at Heraldnet.com.

The Organic Prepper: Wuhan Coronavirus Hits the US: What Preppers Need to Know

WSJ: New Coronavirus Spreading Person to Person

Antiseptic being sprayed at Incheon International Airport

A novel (new) coronavirus appeared in China in December, 2019. At that time, it appeared to be spreading from infected animals to humans who spent time around the infected animals. Now, the virus appears to be spreading with human to human contact. There has been a total of 310 confirmed cases of the infection with six deaths. This virus is believed to be much less deadly than SARS, another coronavirus strain.

Wall Street Journal: China Virus Kills Two More Patients as Authorities Step Up Control Measures

A newly identified virus originating in China killed two more people, infected dozens of others and jumped across the Taiwan Strait, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to more than 300 and prompting authorities across Asia to step up control measures.

The coronavirus, which causes pneumonia-like symptoms, has now killed six people in China, authorities said Tuesday, since it first appeared last month in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

It has also spread beyond the country’s borders to Japan, Thailand and South Korea. On Tuesday, health authorities in Taipei confirmed the self-governing island’s first case of the new coronavirus, a 50-year-old Taiwanese woman who had been working in Wuhan.

Chinese health authorities acknowledged Monday that the coronavirus is being transmitted between humans, heightening concerns that it could spread quickly as tens of millions of Chinese people travel across the country and abroad for the Lunar New Year holiday later this week

Medical workers have themselves been infected. Fourteen medical staff that authorities previously confirmed to have been infected came in contact with a single patient with the coronavirus in Wuhan, said Zhong Nanshan, who is one of China’s most highly regarded epidemiology experts and is leading an expert committee on the outbreak for the National Health Commission.

Wuhan will take more stringent measures to prevent transmission of the disease, including canceling what it considers unnecessary large gatherings, setting up a prevention and control center, and strengthening protection of medical staff, China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency said Tuesday.

Xinhua reported that officials in Wuhan, a sprawling city of 19 million people, would work to minimize public panic by informing citizens about the outbreak in a “timely, open and transparent manner…”

Click here to read the entire article at The Wall Street Journal.

Doom and Bloom: Deadly Viruses, Part 3

Nurse Amy and Dr. Alton of Doom and Bloom Medicine have the third part of a series on Deadly Viruses up at the website. This installment goes into detail about influenza, the virus that kills around half a million people each year.

Spanish Flu ward

During a typical flu season, up to 500,000 people worldwide will die from the illness, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In the U.S., it’s usually about 30,000, mostly among the very elderly or immune-compromised. But occasionally, when a new strain emerges, a pandemic results with a faster spread of disease and, often, higher mortality rates. Last year, 80,000 U.S. residents failed to recover from the flu.

The deadliest flu pandemic, sometimes called the Spanish flu, began in 1918 and sickened up to 40 percent of the world’s population, killing an estimated 50-100 million people. Indeed, it was a factor in bringing about the end of World War I.

Could such a flu pandemic happen again? If a true long-term disaster scenario occurs, we’ll be thrown, medically, back to that era, so it’s possible. Despite this, many don’t take measures to prevent it.

Click here to read the entire article at Doom and Bloom.

Doom and Bloom: Deadly Viruses, Part 2

Nurse Amy and Dr. Alton of Doom and Bloom Medicine have the second part of a series on Deadly Viruses up at the website. This installment gives a brief overview of several more viruses.

Infectious disease is of major concern in good times or bad, and the family medic must be able to identify some of the deadliest. Having just written a book about infectious diseases and the antibiotics that treat them (Alton’s Antibiotics and Infectious Disease: The Layman’s Guide to Available Antibacterials in Austere Settings), we’ve done our research on some of the worst illnesses that can occur even in countries with advanced medical systems.

There are infections out there, however, that are often fatal and can’t be treated with antibiotics. These are usually viral in nature. Last time, we talked about HIV, hemorrhagic fevers like Ebola and its relatives, plus the rodent-borne Hantavirus.

In this part of our series on deadly viruses, we’ll go over a few well-known diseases, but also cover some that you may not have heard about.

ROTAVIRUS

Dehydration from intestinal viruses is a major killer in less-developed countries

The World Health Organization reports that this virus kills more than half a million children annually worldwide. They even believe that every child on the planet has been infected at least once with it. You get it by ingesting bad food and water or touching surfaces contaminated with infected feces…

Click here to read the entire article at Doom and Bloom.

And if you missed it, click here for Part 1.

Doom and Bloom: Deadly Viruses, Part 1

Nurse Amy and Dr. Alton of Doom and Bloom Medicine have the first part of a series on Deadly Viruses up at the website. This installment gives a brief overview of several viruses — symptoms, transmission, etc. With the current ebola outbreak now reaching into the million occupant city of Butembo, it’s good to stay informed of health threats that are out there.

Ebola virus

Infectious disease is of major concern in good times or bad, and the family medic must be able to identify some of the deadliest. Having just written a book about infectious diseases and the antibiotics that treat them (Alton’s Antibiotics and Infectious Disease: The Layman’s Guide to Available Antibacterials in Austere Settings), we’ve done our research on some of the worst illnesses that can occur even in countries with advanced medical systems. There are infections out there, however, that are often fatal and can’t be treated with antibiotics. These are usually viral in nature.

What are the worst viruses on the planet? That depends: Are you looking at the total number that died from a particular disease over the course of history? Are you monitoring the number that die every year in the present, or is it the percentage of people that die if they get infected? In any case, the statistics can be grim.

In this article, we’ll discuss a mix of the above, and examine a number of viral illnesses that you definitely don’t want to contract…

Click here to read the entire article at Doom and Bloom.