New York hit by bug as it’s revealed coronavirus could have been here ‘6 weeks & HUNDREDS could be undiagnosed’ – The Sun

NEW York has confirmed its first case of the deadly coronavirus — one day after a man in Seattle died from the illness.

A woman in her late 30s who had traveled to Iran was diagnosed with the virus, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office.

Cuomo said the woman is "currently isolated in her home," and has "respiratory symptoms, but is not in serious condition and has been in a controlled situation since arriving to New York."

A source told local news outlet The City the woman lives in New York City.

The governor said there's "no reason for undue anxiety — the general risk remains low in NY."

"There is no cause for surprise — this was expected."

"As I said from the beginning, it was a matter of when, not if there would be a positive case of novel coronavirus in New York."

In Iran, where the woman with coronavirus traveled, at least 54 people have died from the sickness.

The U.S. has now banned travel to Iran because of the virus.

Earlier Sunday, health officials announced Rhode Island had confirmed its first case.

That patient was said to be a male in his 40s who had traveled to Italy in February.

In Seattle on Saturday, public health officials said a man in his 50s died from the coronavirus.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency because of the outbreak, directing agencies to use "all resources necessary" to prepare and respond.

There are 76 confirmed cases of the coronavirus throughout the U.S.

Researchers believe the virus could have been circulating for weeks undetected in Washington state — where the nation's first confirmed infection was.

The first case was a Washington state man who had visited China — the epicenter of the outbreak.

But multiple people who have been recently diagnosed had not traveled to outbreak countries or been in contact with anyone confirmed to have the virus.

At the Life Care Center in Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle, 50 people who showed symptoms of the virus were being tested as of Saturday.

Health officials said two more people in the area, both men in their 60s, were diagnosed and in critical condition.

Two healthcare workers at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville, California were also diagnosed after caring for an earlier coronavirus patient.

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington on Sunday said they had evidence the virus might have been circulating for up to six weeks in Washington.

If true, that could mean hundreds of people have undiagnosed cases in the area.

Trevor Bedford, of the Fred Hutchinson center, tweeted that genetic similarities between the state's first case on January 20 and a case announced on Friday showed the newer case might have descended from the earlier one.

“I believe we’re facing an already substantial outbreak in Washington State that was not detected until now due to narrow case definition requiring direct travel to China,” he wrote on Twitter.

Other scientists said those findings don't really surprise them and said for many people, the symptoms aren't much worse than a flu or a bad cold.

“We think that this has a pretty high rate of mild symptoms and can be asymptomatic," said Justin Lessler, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

"The symptoms are pretty non-specific and testing criteria has been pretty strict, so those combinations of factors means that it easily could have been circulating for a bit without us knowing."

Dr. Carlos del Rio of Emory University School of Medicine said: “This is a good time to reinforce the things we all should be doing to stop the spread of flu."

"Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. If you have a cold, stay home … It’s a good time to remind ourselves of that."

Vice President Mike Pence, who's leading the government's response to the outbreak, said more than 15,000 virus testing kits had been released over the weekend.

He said the Trump administration is working with a commercial provider to distribute 50,000 more.

Pence said testing was among the first issues raised by governors he's spoken with so far, and said Washington state, Oregon and Illinois have started their own testing.

Cuomo said on Twitter Sunday New York state was also granted the ability to do their own testing after he spoke with Pence.

There are now more than 80,000 cases of the coronavirus worldwide, and about 3,000 deaths.

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