Today February 29, 2020 health officials in the state of Washington have confirmed the first death from coronavirus inside the Unite States.

This comes after two new cases of the virus were announced on Friday in Washington state and Oregon. The two new cases are of the community spread type. Meaning they are not travel related and the infected has had no contact with other victims which makes the origins untraceable. Also on Friday, California announced its second case of the community spread variety. Of concern is the fact that the community spread variety spreads in a community without the source of the infection being known.

In another announcement Friday, Washington State health officials announced a high school student in Snohomish County, which is north of Seattle, tested positive for the virus. The students case is expected to be of the community spread variety. Currently the patient is in self-isolation in their home.

This all comes as the CDC announced earlier in the week that the United States can expect to see more cases of the virus and warned of “community spread”. Globally the virus is taking its toll. In France, gatherings of 5,000 or more people have been banned. South Korea reported on Saturday it now has 813 new cases bringing the total to 3,150 diagnosed cases. On February 21, the WHO announced 18 new cases with four deaths in Iran due to the virus. These are the first known outbreaks in the Middle East.

James Cheef