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New report on first US case of novel coronavirus details mild symptoms followed by pneumonia

The World Health Organization has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. Emory's Rollins School of Public Health professor Dr. Carlos del Rio says "the impact on the global economy could be significant."

Posted: Jan 31, 2020 5:00 PM
Updated: Jan 31, 2020 5:00 PM

Doctors have shared new details about the first case of Wuhan coronavirus in the United States in a paper published Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In the new report, doctors describe how the man progressed from initially mild, nonspecific symptoms to pneumonia on the ninth day of his illness.

The patient -- a 35-year-old resident of Snohomish County, Washington, with no history of major health problems -- had returned from visiting family in Wuhan on January 15. He had not visited the seafood market where a number of early patients were initially linked, nor did he have any known contacts with sick people during his visit.

Still, the man had seen a health alert by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and decided to visit an urgent care clinic on January 19, at which point he had been coughing for four days.

Doctors initially found nothing abnormal on chest X-rays, but sent swabs to the CDC because of his recent travel to Wuhan. By the following day, on January 20, they confirmed the man had the novel coronavirus.

At that point, the man was admitted to Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington, and placed in an airborne-isolation unit. Throughout his illness, he experienced a range of symptoms including fever, cough, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and runny nose.

But it wasn't until his fifth day in the hospital -- day nine of his illness -- that doctors saw signs of pneumonia on his chest X-ray, in the lower lobe of his left lung. On the following day, his chest X-ray showed "stable streaky opacities in the lung bases ... indicating likely atypical pneumonia."

On his eighth day in the hospital, his condition improved. As of January 30, he no longer had a fever, and his symptoms were gone except for his cough, which was "decreasing in severity," the doctors wrote. Officials are monitoring close contacts in the US but have not found evidence he transmitted the virus to anyone else.

The authors say the case underscores the importance of close collaboration between doctors, local and federal health authorities, and the quick dissemination of information throughout the medical community on how to care for patients like him. But it also illustrates what we don't know, the authors say, including how quickly and easily the virus spreads and the "full spectrum of clinical illness" it causes.

Since the Washington case, six other confirmed cases have emerged in the United States: one in Arizona, three in California and two in Illinois. The second case in Illinois is also the first confirmed case of person-to-person transmission of the virus in the United States.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 38567

Reported Deaths: 1290
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds318859
DeSoto211220
Madison158940
Jones126651
Harrison126017
Rankin123420
Forrest110544
Neshoba105978
Lauderdale98383
Scott84315
Jackson82820
Washington80615
Copiah69616
Leake66420
Lee66223
Grenada64713
Oktibbeha64428
Lamar6257
Warren61622
Holmes61442
Leflore58856
Wayne58819
Yazoo5847
Lowndes56917
Sunflower5659
Lincoln54436
Pike53724
Lafayette5364
Panola5176
Monroe49139
Simpson4803
Covington4735
Bolivar46318
Tate43113
Pontotoc4066
Attala39424
Adams39221
Newton38410
Marion36312
Pearl River32332
Claiborne32212
Winston31413
Chickasaw31319
Marshall3104
Jasper3016
Walthall29210
Noxubee2869
Clay27411
Union26611
Smith26312
Coahoma2516
Clarke24125
Tallahatchie2394
Lawrence2222
Yalobusha2169
Montgomery1973
Carroll19611
Kemper18914
Calhoun1875
Humphreys18410
Itawamba1638
Hancock16214
Tippah15411
Webster13611
Jefferson1353
Prentiss1344
George1313
Jefferson Davis1304
Tunica1293
Greene12510
Tishomingo1251
Amite1243
Alcorn1232
Quitman1111
Wilkinson1079
Perry994
Stone852
Choctaw794
Franklin602
Benton580
Sharkey540
Issaquena111
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 58225

Reported Deaths: 1183
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson7449176
Mobile5349157
Montgomery4732118
Madison290112
Tuscaloosa283754
Marshall213313
Shelby188027
Lee179337
Baldwin149912
Morgan14897
DeKalb11457
Etowah113614
Walker113537
Elmore111825
Dallas103312
Franklin97016
Unassigned84228
Russell7610
Autauga74318
Limestone7254
Cullman7136
Chambers69932
Houston6848
St. Clair6714
Lauderdale6647
Tallapoosa66272
Butler65931
Calhoun6426
Colbert6138
Escambia56212
Jackson5113
Pike5016
Lowndes49723
Coffee4734
Covington45214
Talladega4517
Dale4283
Barbour4263
Bullock38110
Marengo38111
Hale37523
Chilton3693
Blount3671
Marion35514
Clarke3396
Wilcox3328
Winston3167
Sumter30613
Randolph28610
Monroe2833
Pickens2827
Perry2702
Conecuh2558
Bibb2382
Macon2359
Choctaw22112
Greene2029
Washington1679
Henry1653
Lawrence1590
Crenshaw1433
Cherokee1407
Geneva1100
Lamar961
Clay942
Fayette923
Coosa681
Cleburne621
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