The new coronavirus, which originated in China recently, has found its way to the shores of the United States, according to authorities.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), confirmed the development in a statement on its website on Tuesday.
It said the virus had been diagnosed in a traveller, who arrived in Washington on Jan. 15 from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where it broke out in December.
So far, no fewer than six people are reported to have died from the virus, and almost 300 others infected in China.
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“The patient sought care at a medical facility in the state of Washington, where the patient was treated for the illness.
“Based on the patient’s travel history and symptoms, healthcare professionals suspected this new coronavirus.
“A clinical specimen was collected and sent to CDC overnight, where laboratory testing yesterday confirmed the diagnosis via CDC’s Real-time Reverse transcription-polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) test,’’ it said.
Originally thought to be spreading from animals to humans, there are growing indications that limited person-to-person spread is happening, according to the CDC.
“How easily the virus spreads between humans is unclear at the moment,” the statement said.