United States coronavirus cases rise to 11, including 2nd person-to-person transmission

Marco Green
February 4, 2020

According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) description of pandemic phases, coronavirus is only a step away from being a pandemic.

The World Health Organization reports that worldwide 362 people have now died and more than 17,000 are infected.

The United States, which flew people out last week, planned "a handful more flights", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

With no end to the outbreak in sight, authorities in Hubei and elsewhere extended the Lunar New Year holiday break, due to end this week, well into February to try to keep people at home and reduce the spread of the virus. "The US government hasn't provided any substantial assistance to us, but it was the first to evacuate personnel from its consulate in Wuhan, the first to suggest partial withdrawal of its embassy staff, and the first to impose a travel ban on Chinese travelers".

Other countries are continuing evacuations and restricting the entry of Chinese or people who have recently traveled in the country.

Additionally, countries have taken measures to prevent a widespread global outbreak, including imposing travel restrictions of their own.

Three more people in Northern California have been diagnosed with the coronavirus known as 2019-nCoV, health officials in the area said Sunday, doubling the number of cases in the state and bringing the total across the country to 11.

On Friday, President Donald Trump signed a proclamation prohibiting noncitizens from entering the USA if they were in China, not including Hong Kong and Macau, within 14 days of their arrival. A plane carrying Malaysians from Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province where the illness has been concentrated, arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday morning, and the 133 people on board were to be screened and quarantined for 14 days, the maximum incubation period for the virus.

Last week the United States raised its travel advisory for China its highest level - Level 4: Do Not Travel - and continues to urge citizens to "attempt to depart by commercial means". A designation originally reserved exclusively for Wuhan, the increased level urges people to avoid travel to all areas of China. While Messonnier did not provide additional details, a Sunday news release from the San Benito County Health and Human Services Agency said the husband, 57, had recently traveled to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. Six cases have been confirmed in California, two in IL and one each in Arizona and MA.

Despite the increase in the number of cases, USA officials reassured the public that the virus shouldn't be a grave concern because the likelihood of being exposed is still low.

One of the patients in California was infected through close contact with someone in the same household who had been infected in China.

The CDC says 167 people who were under investigation for the virus have tested negative and 82 cases remain pending.

Health officials say the public should expect more person-to-person cases in the future. "But in the meantime, some countries, the U.S.in particular, have inappropriately overreacted".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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