Seattle Man With Coronavirus Recovering, Still Isolated In Hospital
UPDATED Wednesday, 5:15 pm
The Everett, Washington man who contracted the coronavirus while traveling in China this month continues to recover.
Authorities held a press briefing in Seattle today [Wednesday]. They say the man, who is in his 30s, continues to rest in an isolation unit in an Everett hospital. He took himself to a clinic on Sunday when he felt ill, a few days after returning from Wuhan, China.
State Health Secretary John Wiesman says authorities have been working to locate and call people with whom the man may have been in close contact.
“I would expect that, at some point, we’re going to have more cases in the U.S. and we have a multi-layered system here of protections," Wiesman said.
One of those layers involves funneling people who fly from China into one of five American airports where authorities can screen people for the virus.
Washington state Health Department officials today [Tuesday] confirmed the first U.S. case of the coronavirus that has killed six people worldwide.
The patient is a man in his 30s who recently returned to the Seattle area from a trip to his family homeland in Wuhan, China. He is now in satisfactory condition in an isolation unit in a hospital in Everett.
State officials say the man did not show symptoms of the virus while flying home on January 15. After arriving home, he fell ill and went to a clinic in Everett on Sunday. Health professionals took samples of body fluids and sent them to the federal Centers for Disease Control. The C-D-C confirmed on Monday the man has the virus.
Now that the man is in isolation, the work begins to find people who had contact with him.
“We’re working with Providence Medical Center to ensure that the small number of health care workers and patients who may have been exposed are identified and monitored for follow up," said Dr. Chris Spitters, Snohomish County's interim health officer.
And they’re working with the man to recreate his trip home. They want to find where he was and when so they can contact people who may have had contact with him.
Governor Jay Inslee says health officials acted quickly once they heard about the man’s case and were able to get him isolated.
C-D-C officials are now in Seattle to help with the detective work of the case. The agency has mandated that all flights from China to the U.S. be funneled to five airports so that exposure can be minimized.