The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States has reached 11. The virus, which has claimed more than 400 lives and sickened thousands in China, has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization. It has now been detected in five states: Washington, California, Arizona, Illinois and Massachusetts.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control confirmed six cases in the U.S., including the first case of person-to-person spread. An additional five cases were confirmed on Monday. The new cases include a patient in Massachusetts and four more patients in California. According to the CDC, four of the five newly infected patients had traveled to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak. The fifth patient in California had been in household contact with another infected person, marking the second case of person-to-person spread within the country.
According to CNN, a Chinese doctor who tried to warn others about the outbreak in its early days has now been infected. The virus has also spread to more than 20 countries, with Italy, Spain and Sweden among the most recent additions to the growing list. Two deaths outside of mainland China have been reported, in the Philippines and Hong Kong.
The CDC has developed a Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction test to diagnose the virus. To date, 260 samples have been received, 11 of which tested positive, 167 tested negative and 82 are pending.
Currently, the samples can only be tested at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta. The organization said it plans to submit an Emergency Use Authorization to the Food and Drug Administration, so that public health labs across the United States can begin testing for the virus shortly. Symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, cough and shortness of breath, may appear in as little as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
"We expect to find additional cases of novel coronavirus infection in the United States," said Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC National Center for Respiratory Diseases, during a telebriefing call. "We expect to see more cases of person-to-person spread among close contacts. And we continue to expect this will happen given the explosive nature of this outbreak in China and our very aggressive public health response, where we are putting a lot of resources into finding infections with this virus."
Stay up-to-date with the outbreak's effects on travel with our coronavirus coverage here.