Second confirmed U.S. coronavirus case in Chicago

Earnest Beeson, Writer

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed the second case of the coronavirus in the United States. The patient, a woman in her 60s, returned to Chicago from Wuhan, China, on Jan. 13. According to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the woman traveled to China to tend to her ill father. 

According to Chicago health commissioner Dr. Allison Alwady, the patient is stabilized and “clinically doing well.”

CDC representatives confirmed that the patient was not symptomatic while flying, has not used public transportation and has not been involved with any large gatherings since her return. 

According to the CDC, symptoms of coronavirus are a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and a general feeling of being lethargy. Most people experience at least one of these symptoms at some point in their lives. While there isn’t much information on this new strain of the coronavirus (2019-nCoV), there are currently 63 patients under investigation across 22 states. Symptoms of 2019-nCoV include fever and lower respiratory issues such as coughing and difficulty breathing. It can be transferred through human to human contact. 

At this time there is no major concern of an epidemic in the United States. Most major hospitals are equipped with negative pressure isolation rooms, which are designed to isolate ​a patient who is suspected of or has been diagnosed with an airborne infectious disease. 

The virus has been traced back to the Chinese province of Hubei. As of Saturday night, there have been upward of 1,400 confirmed cases and 41 deaths. 8,420 suspected cases are currently under investigation worldwide.

The coronavirus has had transcontinental consequences. Australia announced its first confirmed case Friday night, approximately an hour after France announced its third confirmed case.

Hong Kong has raised declared a state of emergency, closing schools and canceling a marathon that was scheduled to host over 70,000 paying participants. 

In an effort to control the spread of the coronavirus, Chinese officials have isolated over 35 million Chinese civilians, believed to be the largest quarantine in human history. 

While precautions are recommended, Robert Citronberg, director of infectious diseases at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, states that the risk of contracting the disease at airports is low.

If you have been in contact with anyone that has visited China recently and you have any pneumonia-like symptoms you should see a medical professional immediately.