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US' First Coronavirus Death Was Earlier Than Thought

Man who died in Washington state Feb. 24 found to have the virus
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2020 5:35 PM CST

(Newser) – The US reported its first death from the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 at the end of last month—but it turns out the actual first death may have been days earlier. As NBC News reports, a person was transferred to the hospital from Washington state's Life Care Center, the long-term care facility in Kirkland that has since been associated with a number of cases, on Feb. 24 and died two days later. He has now been found to have been suffering from COVID-19, making him likely the first death in the state—and the country. Meanwhile, the state's death toll has risen to nine, with the majority of those linked to the long-term care facility. Officials still do not know how the outbreak at the facility began, CNN reports.

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A North Carolina resident who visited that facility has now tested positive for the virus upon their return back home, making them the state's first case, and a dozen of the 30 first responders who were quarantined after potential exposure at the facility now have flu-like symptoms. Meanwhile, new cases in China, where the virus originated, are now tapering off; since Feb. 25, more new cases were reported elsewhere in the world than in China. The CDC says there are currently 108 confirmed cases in the US, 45 of them passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. And, per ABC News, New York state has its first "seriously ill" patient; he first came down with respiratory symptoms a month ago but they recently worsened. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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