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An American man in Washington state has been infected with the deadly and contagious coronavirus spreading from China, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials confirmed Tuesday.
The first US patient is a resident of the US in his 30s, located north of Seattle, who is currently hospitalized and in 'good' condition, but being closely monitored in isolation at Providence Regional Medical Center - Everett.
He traveled from Wuhan, but did not visit any of the markets at the epicenter of the outbreak, according to state health officials.
The man arrived in the US on January 15, the day before screening was in place, and before he developed symptoms, but the man reportedly recognized his own symptoms - which typically include cough, fever and runny nose - after seeing online coverage of the virus.
The patient reached out to doctors on January 16, was tested on the 17th and his diagnosis was confirmed Monday, health officials said.
On the heels of the identification of this first US patient, all flights from Wuhan into the US are being rerouted to the three airports set up last week for screening - LAX, San Francisco and JFK - as well as an additional two locations: Chicago O'Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
An American man with the new coronavirus has been identified in Washington state, CDC officials said on Wednesday, bringing the total number of countries with cases of the deadly virus to five outside of China, including the US, Thailand, Japan South Korea and Taiwan
Washington officials do not consider the American man's illness severe, but are taking precautions.
With the addition of the US, the newly-identified coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China, has now spread to five countries, including Thailand, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
The first US case comes less than a week after the CDC announced that three airports - John F Kennedy International, Los Angeles, and San Francisco - would begin screening passengers arriving from Wuhan for the virus.
So far, the CDC has screened over 1,2000 passengers, said Dr Nancy Messonnier, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases during the Tuesday telebriefing.
'However, none have been referred to hospitals or quarantined through screening,' she added.
The first patient in the US identified with the coronavirus - which health officials are referring to as '2019-nCoV' - eventually arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, but did not fly directly there from Wuhan.
He did not pass through airport screening, but both CDC and Washington State officials asserted that because he arrived prior to the onset of symptoms, screening would not have identified him as a potential patient.
Once the man contacted his health provider, a newly-developed rapid test for the virus was administered and his diagnosis was quickly confirmed by the CDC.
It remains unclear how many people the patient may have come into contact with, but officials say they are working to trace his travel and contacts.
Officials in China have confirmed that the SARS-like coronavirus, which can trigger life-threatening respiratory infections, can and has been passed from human to human, including through saliva.
'How easily or sustainably it's spreading remains unknown,' said Dr Messonnier.
She added that older people with underlying conditions are at the greatest risk of developing severe illness from the virus.
As of Tuesday, the CDC upgraded its travel alert form a level 1 to a level 2, issuing the following guidance:
Vaccine experts at Baylor University are working on modifying a vaccine they designed to prevent SARS to protect against the new, related coronavirus, but the school's Dean of Tropical Medicine, which is developing the shot, Dr Peter Hotez, told DailyMail.com that it's likely years away from deployment.
Last week, the CDC announced that was deploying some 100 staffers to the three airports that receive the majority of inbound flights from Wuhan in the US.
Officials said that there would be on-site diagnostics at the airports, as well as off-site facilities set up to quarantine anyone suspected to be infected with the new coronavirus.
Adding to the difficulty of screening for the virus, its primary symptoms - cough, fever, runny nose - are similar to those of the flu, which is at near-peak levels in the US.
Taiwan today confirmed its first case of the lethal bug, which has killed six people in the Chinese city of Wuhan, home to 11million people.
Workers at Almaty International Airport in Kazakhstan are using thermal scanners to detect travellers from China who may have symptoms of the coronavirus sweeping Asia
Malaysian officials use thermal imaging scanners and cameras to check passengers for fevers upon their arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport
People wearing face masks at a metro station in Taipei, Taiwan. Taiwan recorded its first case of the coronavirus this morning
Professor Zhong Nanshan, leader of the National Health Commission's expert team, revealed the virus is likely to be spread by saliva in a press conference today.
He told the meeting: 'As of now, it is affirmative that the new strain of coronavirus can be passed between humans.
'The virus is spread through respiratory system and distance of impact is not long, but it is possible that the virus was passed after being stuck to saliva.'
Professor Zhong said officials must 'quarantine the patients and stop them from contacting others'. Antibiotics will not tackle the virus because the drugs only work on bacterial infections.
And he added that the outbreak will not spread like SARS, so long as patients are quarantined immediately and their contacts are traced.
A Chinese physician who was investigating the outbreak of a mysterious new virus in central China says he has himself been infected, it was revealed this evening.
Wang Guangfa, who heads the Department of Pulmonary Medicine at Beijing's Peking University First Hospital, was part of a team of experts that earlier this month visited Wuhan.
'I was diagnosed and my condition is fine,' Wang told Kong's Cable TV on Tuesday, thanking people for their concern. He is receiving treatment in hospital.
A leading expert told MailOnline the new Chinese coronavirus may have been lurking in animals for decades.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, a renowned specialist in infectious disease epidemics, said the virus isn't new but has likely adapted to infect humans.
Passengers leaving for Wuhan, waiting at the Leonardo Da Vinci airport in Fiumicino, Rome
Malaysia is one of many countries that have stepped up their passenger screening, with airport workers screening travellers for symptoms of the virus
Pictured: A close-up of travellers on the thermal imaging camera at Kuala Lumpur International Airport
South Korean cleaners prepare to disinfect the facilities at the customs, immigration and quarantine area at Incheon International Airport
Officials at Taiwan's Center for Disease Control use thermal scanners to screen passengers arriving on a flight from China's Wuhan province
A child wears a facemask at Daxing international airport in Beijing as he heads home for the Lunar New Year
The outbreak is believed to have started late last month among people connected to a seafood market in Wuhan, where all six fatalities have happened
Chinese quarantine workers wearing protective suits and masks are posted at an entrance to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan
An official uses an infrared thermometer on a traveler at a health screening checkpoint at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport. Wuhan is at the centre of the outbreak
Staff in biohazard suits hold a metal stretcher by the in-patient department of Wuhan Medical Treatment Centre, where patients are being treated for the new coronavirus
Quarantine workers spray disinfect at Incheon International Airport in South Korea. South Korea confirmed its first case on January 20 after a 35-year-old woman arriving at Seoul’s Incheon airport tested positive for the virus
A total of 322 people are confirmed to have caught the unnamed coronavirus, which has never been seen before. Six patients have died.
Most of the cases have occurred in Wuhan, a city in Hubei province home to 11million people. But patients have been diagnosed across China, including in Beijing and Shanghai.
The coronavirus, which is from the same family as SARS, has also spread to South Korea, Thailand, Japan and Taiwan.
Chinese officials yesterday confirmed the virus has spread between humans, suggesting it can be passed through coughs and sneezes.
The outbreak is believed to have started late last month among people connected to a seafood market in Wuhan, which has since been shut.
China is entering its busiest travel period due to the Lunar New Year, which sees many people travelling back to their home town or village.
Virologists fear the increased travel that will happen over the holidays will cause a surge in cases.
So where have cases been recorded?
Hubei province, 270 cases, 6 deaths
Guangdong province, 17 cases
Chongqing province, 5 cases
Zhejiang province, 5 cases
Henan province, 1 case
Hunan province, 1 case
Yunnan province, 1 case
Sichuan province, 1 case
Shandong province, 1 case
Shanghai, 6 cases
Beijing, 10 cases
Tianjin, 2 cases
Thailand, 2 cases
South Korea, 1 case
Japan, 1 case
Taiwan, 1 casehe outbreak is believed to have started late last month among people connected to a seafood market in Wuhan, where all six fatalities have happened.
State media reported on a fourth victim this morning – an 89-year-old man who lived in Wuhan. Experts from the country's National Health Commission this morning urged Wuhan's residents not to leave the city.
The mayor of the city later revealed there had been two more deaths – a 66-year-old man, known only as Li, and a 48-year-old woman, known only as Yin. Both died from multiple organ failure.
Zhou Xianwang said there has been a total of 258 cases in Wuhan. Twelve cases have been recorded elsewhere in Hubei province, where Wuhan is the capital. Officials in the Chinese city have said they will pay for all medical costs for patients infected with the virus.
Other cases have been confirmed today in Tianjin – a port city just outside of Beijing, as well as in a host of other provinces.
In a statement issued this afternoon, Hubei Province announced five new cases among healthcare workers, including one doctor and four nurses.
Taiwanese media this morning confirmed a case of the coronavirus. The unnamed woman, in her fifties, worked in Wuhan and had returned to Taiwan, CNA reports.
And North Korea has temporarily banned all tourists from entering the country over fears the Chinese coronavirus will spread, according to reports this afternoon.
Two foreign tour operators revealed officials in the Hermit Kingdom told them borders will close tomorrow until the outbreak is 'well under control'.
A South Korean budget airline has also announced it will postpone the launch of its cheap flights to Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak.
T’way Air said the decision was 'inevitable' given the spiralling number of cases, with 325 people across Asia now confirmed to have the virus.
Reports also state face masks are flying off the shelves across China as the country's citizens prepare themselves for the potential spread of the outbreak, which has already swept the nation.
Pictures and videos circulating on the country's social media purport to show residents in various cities queuing to stock up on the medical products. A total of 317 people in Asia have now tested positive for the unnamed virus after it first emerged in Wuhan city last month