US records 5th case of deadly coronavirus, CDC ‘prepares for a pandemic’

Molecular rendering of the novel coronavirus (Photo: CNN)

The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) is reporting that a fifth confirmed case of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been confirmed in a patient in the United States as at Sunday, January 26.

In a statement to CNBC, all five patients travelled from Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly outbreak, with the latest case being a resident in Maricopa, Arizona.

The viral outbreak was first detected on US soil in Washington state, before a second case was confirmed in Chicago (Friday) as well as a double whammy in Orange and Los Angeles counties in California (also on Sunday).

“The US has faced multiple pandemics before of varying degrees and severity. We need to be preparing as if this is a pandemic, but [we] continue to hope that it is not.”

In all the CDC says it is investigating about 100 patients for possibly having 2019-nCoV, as the new respiratory illness has so far sickened more than 8,000 people and killed 56, the majority of whom are in Wuhan.

The disease, since the outbreak was tracked in Wuhan in December 2019, has been detected in 13 countries and territories, namely: China, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, Nepal, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Macau.

On Friday, the CDC categorised the novel coronavirus as the ninth most infectious disease since 2002, as it has infected over 8,420 people across the world.

Three US airports will start screening passengers arriving from Wuhan to check for signs of the virus, such as coughing, difficulty breathing and high temperatures with the use of an infrared thermometer, the CDC announced Friday.

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