This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP)

VIDEO: U.S. reports first case of human-to-human transmission of coronavirus

Patient is married to woman who contracted virus after she returned from trip to Wuhan, China

Health officials Thursday reported the first U.S. case of person-to-person spread of the new virus from China.

The man is married to the Chicago woman who got sick from the virus after she returned from a trip to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak. There have been cases reported of the infectious virus spreading to others in a household or workplace in China and elsewhere.

The new case is the sixth reported in the United States. The other five were travellers who developed the illness after returning to the U.S. from China. The latest patient had not been in China.

The Chicago woman returned from central China on Jan. 13, then last week went to a hospital with symptoms and was diagnosed with the viral illness. She and her husband, both in their 60s, are hospitalized.

Experts have said they expected additional cases, and that at least some limited spread of the disease in the United States was likely. Health officials think the new virus spreads mainly from droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how the flu spreads.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Illinois health officials said that health workers and people who have been in contact with the latest patient are being monitored for symptoms.

“We anticipated this,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University infectious diseases expert. “The kind of contact that you have in a household is very close and very prolonged. That’s the kind of circumstance where we would anticipate a virus such as this could be transmitted.”

The virus can cause fever, coughing, wheezing and pneumonia. It is a member of the coronavirus family that’s a close cousin to the SARS and MERS viruses that have caused outbreaks in the past. The new virus has sickened thousands, mostly in China, and killed about 170.

READ MORE: Canada’s chief public health officer says no vaccine for coronavirus for a year

An international outbreak caused by the virus first emerged last month in China. Doctors there began seeing the new virus in people who got sick after spending time at a wholesale food market in Wuhan. Officials said the virus probably initially spread from animals to people, as did SARS and MERS.

The other U.S. cases are in Arizona, Southern California and Washington state.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New Arrow Park ferry begins full service

The last of four ferries built by Waterbridge Steel was launched earlier this month

Man launches West Kootenay shuttle service for those in need

Business owner Mike Sherwood said he’s been getting ten call requests a day from people

Kootenay gas prices among the highest in B.C

Gas prices are up to 10 cents higher than other neighbouring B.C. regions

Kootenay program encourages gardeners to share what they grow during pandemic

The West Kootenay Permaculture Co-op is sending out free seeds, but with a catch

UPDATE: West Kootenay residents stranded in Peru seek a way home

Two West Kootenay residents are being evacuated by the federal government, others are still waiting

‘The Office’ star John Krasinski offers Some Good News in trying times

‘The human spirit still found a way to break through and blow us all away’

No laws in B.C. to force businesses to offer refunds, even during a pandemic

Black Press Media talks to Consumer Protection BC on how to navigate during COVID-19

COVID-19 essential workers can apply for B.C. pre-school child care

Parent referral opens, providers offered emergency funding

Most abiding by COVID-19 rules, back fines, arrests of those who aren’t: poll

But 64 per cent said they’ve personally witnessed people not respecting the measures

Walkers, grocery store customers courteous with physical distancing in B.C.

Some cyclists also acknowledge each other and walkers as well on a wide trail

B.C. worker advocate group calls for more sick days, protected medical leave

COVID-19 highlights need for changes to workers legislation: Retail Action Network

New rules issued for B.C. construction projects, work camps for COVID-19

Coastal GasLink, LNG Canada, Trans Mountain and Site C carry on

Most Read