Coronavirus diagnosed in Chicago woman marks 2nd case, 5 total confirmed in US

Monday, January 27, 2020
Coronavirus in the US: 5th confirmed case in Arizona, 2 others in California
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A fifth case of the deadly coronavirus that originated in central China was confirmed in the United States, health officials announced Sunday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A total of five people have been diagnosed with the disease's outbreak known as coronavirus.

Health officials announced three more confirmed diagnosis on Sunday. Two people have been confirmed to have the deadly virus in California, followed by the fifth and most recent case in Arizona.

A woman in Orange County, California was also confirmed Sunday, according to the CDC.

The three latest patients follow a Friday announcement confirming a Chicago resident as second case of coronavirus. All recently returned from traveling in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak.

The CDC said the Chicago patient and Orange County patient are clinically doing well and are in stable condition.

The Chicago case was identified as a woman in her 60s who had traveled to Wuhan in late December and returned to the U.S. on January 13.

The woman was not showing symptoms when she returned, but started feeling unwell a few days after returning, the CDC said.

"She was administering to her elderly father, who was sick while she was there," said Illinois Senator Dick Durbin. "She came home and started feeling the symptoms."

"She called ahead to alert her doctor to her illness, rather than just presenting to a clinic or an emergency department," said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady. "This is exactly what any potentially ill returning traveler from Wuhan should do."

The woman has not taken public transportation or attended public gathering. She is being treated in isolation at AMITA Health St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, AMITA officials confirmed.

The hospital issued a statement saying:

"AMITA Health is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Chicago Department of Public Health to care for a patient who tested positive for novel coronavirus. The patient is being monitored in isolation, in accordance with established infection control protocols. We have contacted the small number of patients and staff who may have come into contact with the patient. Given the advanced information and training provided by the CDC, our staff was well-prepared to care for this patient."

On Friday, doctors said the patient is in good condition and is responding to supportive therapy, including making sure she's comfortable, giving her fluids, and monitoring her respiratory health. Health officials reiterated there are no known therapies for coronavirus, so supportive therapy is their only option. Doctors said it was a good sign that she was responding positively to it.

WATCH: City health officials provide update on coronavirus patient

The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Chicago Department Public Health are investigating locations where the woman went after returning from China. Health officials would not publicly release the airline the woman flew, but have passed that information along to the CDC.

"They will be using it to make determinations whether there need to be follow-up related to passengers on the plane, et cetera," Arwady said. "Again, this patient was not symptomatic while traveling, so that lowers the risk."

Coronavirus vs. the flu: Breakdown of numbers

This is the second confirmed case in the United States of coronavirus, which has sickened more than 2,000 and killed 56 in China.

Wuhan and nearby cities are locked down, impacting more than 30 million people in that region of China. There are still roughly 1,000 U.S. citizens stranded in the Wuhan area.

Stateside, five major airports including O'Hare are screening travelers. The Illinois Department of Public Health is continuing to educate the public about coronavirus.

"We will continue with frequent, scheduled communication with local health departments, clinical partners, and other key state partners," said Jennifer Layden, chief medical officer for IDPH.

RELATED: New coronavirus kills 26, sickens 830 as China shuts down more cities

Earlier this week, health officials confirmed a man in Washington state was diagnosed with coronavirus. Officials said the man in his 30s had recently traveled to Wuhan, where health officials believe the outbreak started in a fresh food market.

On Wednesday, authorities began screening passengers at O'Hare Airport for coronavirus.


On a dreary eve of the Lunar New Year, the biggest Chinese holiday, people are walking around Chinatown wearing masks.

"It's because of the virus, that's why I wear the mask," said Tin Su, resident.

"Just be careful, it's better than not protecting myself and family," said Ye Tao, resident.

There is also concern in Chinatown that the Chinese government is not being transparent about the number of cases and those numbers are being suppressed. Still, many have confidence the outbreak and fear that comes with it will soon be a thing of the past.

"About 20 years ago there was similar stuff in China," Tao said. "That is something we experienced before, I have confidence that we can get over it."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.