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Mysterious Coronavirus Reaches the US

Man in Washington state recently traveled to China
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2020 1:23 PM CST
Women wear face masks as they walk down a street in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.   (Chinatopix via AP)

(Newser) – A potentially deadly coronavirus that first surfaced in China has reached the US. The CDC says a man in Washington state who recently returned from China has the mysterious coronavirus, reports the Washington Post. The man is in Snohomish County, and he was hospitalized last week after returning from a visit to the Wuhan area of China, where the illness first emerged, reports the New York Times. Few other details about him were available, though the Times says he is "quite ill." The coronavirus, which can be spread from person to person, has killed six people in China and sickened about 300 there, and it also has spread to Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and South Korea. It is believed to have started in a poultry and seafood market in the city of Wuhan.

“There are still more questions that we don’t know the answers to than things we do know,” an expert on infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville tells the Times. "For example, what is the source? We don’t know exactly. The location likely was the live animal market, but we don’t know the particular animal." The World Health Organization meets Wednesday to determine whether a global health emergency should be declared over the illness, reports CNBC. A "coronavirus" is actually a group of viruses, explains CNN in a primer on the outbreak. (The US is screening travelers at major airports.)

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