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A Coronavirus First: American Reported Dead

It appears to be the first known death of a US citizen, a 60-year-old who died in China's Wuhan
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2020 6:30 AM CST

(Newser) – At least 700 people have been killed by the coronavirus in China, and the latest victim in Wuhan appears to be a first: a US citizen. Per a rep from the US Embassy in Beijing, a 60-year-old American died Thursday at Jinyintan Hospital, the first known American to succumb to the illness, Reuters reports. Sources tell the New York Times the patient was a woman who had previous health issues. Although China has locked down the city of Wuhan to keep the virus from spreading, the US State Department has been trying to evacuate US citizens; it wasn't clear whether this patient had tried to leave China on those US-arranged flights.

Per the Washington Post, Japan is also reporting its first fatality: That country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs says a Japanese man in his 60s who lived in Wuhan died officially of "viral pneumonia," per Chinese medical officials. But Japanese broadcaster NHK notes the man had coronavirus-like symptoms and tested positive for it over a week ago, but he died before that result could be confirmed. Reuters notes that as of midday Thursday, 19 foreigners in China had been diagnosed with the coronavirus—two had been treated and released, while 17 remain in quarantine. Meanwhile, 86 people died in China on Saturday alone, said to be the largest daily spike yet, per the Post. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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