A second case of the new coronavirus has been confirmed in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday morning.
The CDC is also investigating another 61 potential cases from 22 states. Eleven have tested negative, and results from the rest are pending.
The new case, a woman in her 60s, is hospitalized in Chicago, and is reportedly doing well. She had traveled to Wuhan, China, in December, and flew home to Illinois on Jan. 13. She was not symptomatic on the flight home.
The woman had not spent much time in public after arriving back in the U.S., and had not taken public transportation, health officials said. The risk that she had infected others is low, but some close contacts are being monitored for symptoms.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said that it’s important to keep in mind that there are still many unknowns about the virus.
“This virus was only identified within the past month, and there is much we don’t know yet,” Messonnier said during a call with journalists Friday.
She added it’s likely there will be more cases in the U.S., including among close contacts of travelers.
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The Chicago patient called her doctor when she started feeling ill, rather than physically going to a hospital or an urgent care center. Health officials say that this is the right thing to do.
“We ask that any individual who begins to experience symptoms and has recently traveled to Wuhan, or had contact with someone diagnosed with the novel coronavirus to call their health care provider or hospital before seeking treatment, so that appropriate infection control measures can be put into place,” Dr. Jennifer Layden, chief medical officer at the Illinois Department of Public Health, said Friday.
The first coronavirus case in the U.S. was reported Tuesday, a man in his 30s who fell ill after returning to his home in Washington state following a trip to Wuhan.