Having published an article about the Wuhan coronavirus not even 2 hours ago, I was alerted to the first American diagnosis of the virus. As I stated in my previous article “CDC Announces Airports in N.Y., San Francisco and L.A. Will Screen Passangers from Wuhan China” the new strain of corona virus is in the family of SARS, and comes in the form of pneumonia.

Wuhan coronavirus, named for the city it is believed to originate, first came to light in December 2019, when an outbreak began. Since then the virus has been traced back to a Wuhan seafood and wildlife market that was closed down on January 1. Globally there are 300 known cases including the case in Washington state found this week. Coronaviruses generally infect pigs, cats, and other animals but can spread from animals-to-humans and person-to-person. This was not thought to be the case in the beginning of the outbreak. In the beginning Chinese authorities thought the disease could only be spread from animal to animal. China has experienced outbreaks of other forms of the virus that resulted in thousands of pigs dying from the disease.

The first U.S. case now known to be in Washington state, is a U.S. resident in his 30’s that traveled to Wuhan, China. Cases of the disease have been reported in multiple cities in China, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Last week the CDC confirmed it expected to see cases in America, and now says “We do expect additional cases in the United States and globally.” Indicating they may have underestimated the U.S. number of cases. Recently the Imperial College London said that true numbers of cases in Wuhan alone are estimated at over 1,700.

Wuhan coronavirus is one of 7 strains known to infect humans, particularly in the respiratory tract. 4 strains cause common colds while 2 are known as some of the deadliest diseases to infect humans. We would know them as Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). In China, 6 people have already died from Wuhan coronavirus. Americans, especially those in travel hubs should take extra caution if experiencing fever, muscle aches, or flu like symptoms.

James Cheef