Coronavirus outbreak: What you need to know


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The first case of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus has reached the United States and is reported in Washington state.

The U.S. citizen had returned to the Seattle area in the middle of last week after traveling to the Wuhan area in China, where the outbreak began, according to the CDC.

The man is reportedly in his 30s and is in good condition at a hospital outside Seattle.

There have been more than 290 cases of the virus reported in China since December, most of them in the city of Wuhan.

At least 6 deaths are linked to the outbreak, which is now spreading across China, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, and now the United States.

The U.S. is the fifth country to report seeing the mysterious illness.

Just days ago several major U.S. airports including San Francisco International Airport had begun screening airline passengers arriving from central China for the virus.

In announcing the airport screenings last week, CDC officials said then that the risk to the American public was low, but that it was likely the illness would appear in the U.S. at some point.

The flu-like virus causes pneumonia and does not respond to antibiotic treatment, CNN reports.

Here’s what to know about coronavirus:

What is coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as pneumonia, SARS, and Middle East respiratory syndrome or MERS.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, and sometimes a fever that can last days.

In more severe cases, infection can lead to severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure or death.

Is coronavirus similar to Ebola and SARS?

All three are zoonotic, which means they are transmitted between animals and people.

How does coronavirus spread?

In rare cases, the virus can be spread from animals to people.

Officials have confirmed that the coronavirus can be transmitted between humans, which often happens when someone comes into contact with the infected person’s secretions – such as through coughing or sneezing.

According to the CDC, the virus can also be transmitted by touching something an infected person has touched then touching your mouth, eyes, or nose.

Is there a vaccine? How is it treated?

There is no vaccine yet, but health officials say those infected may get some relief by taking pain or fever medications, drinking plenty of liquids, and resting.

While there is no vaccine, people can reduce the risk of infection by avoiding those who are sick, washing their hands often, and avoiding touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.

How are US health officials responding?

The CDC says it is working closely with the state of Washington and has deployed a team to support the investigation in the state, including potentially tracing those who came into contact with the infected patient to determine if anyone else has become sick.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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