NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Officials announced Friday a new patient in Chicago has tested positive for the coronavirus.
It’s the second confirmed case of coronavirus in the U.S.
Earlier this week, a Washington state man also tested positive.
More than 1,200 people across the world are now confirmed to have the virus. At least 41 of them have died.
In China, hospitals are so overcrowded, they’re building a 1,000-bed hospital, which the country hopes to have ready in less than two weeks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are now 63 patients under investigation from 22 states, although 11 of those patients have tested negative for coronavirus.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that four people are under observation in New York state.
The New York State Department of Health says of the four people isolated for testing, one has come back negative. Results are pending on the other three. They have not said where these people live, but city officials say it isn’t in any of the five boroughs.
The CDC says it’s likely there will be more cases reported in the coming days and weeks, but that the immediate threat to the general public in the U.S. is low.
Last week, the CDC began screening at JFK Airport for travelers coming in from Wuhan, China, taking temperatures and asking questions.
Since then, Chinese officials have closed transport in and out of at least 12 cities in China, including Wuhan. The outbreak is believed to have started at a market selling wild animals there.
“The fact now that those flights are ended could create a false sense of security,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
New York City officials say they’re working under the assumption cases will pop up here in our area.
“There’s a 14-day incubation period. There may well be people previously infected. It has not started to manifest,” de Blasio said.
As a result, they’re conducting outreach to neighborhoods, posting signs at local airports and talking to local healthcare providers.
“What we are asking New Yorkers to do is that if they have traveled to Wuhan in the last 14 days and find themselves with symptoms of fever or cough or shortness of breath, they contact their provider,” said Dr. Oxiris Barbot of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The strain of the virus is a member of the coronavirus family. That’s a close cousin to the deadly SARS and MERS viruses.
The CDC says early on it appeared the virus was spread animal to person, but now it’s potentially spreading person to person, though how exactly is unclear.
Families who spoke to CBS2 are more concerned about loved ones back in China.
“I feel like people are being panicked and just wearing masks all the days. Whenever they go to transit, they take masks all the time,” said Jeff Shen, of Chinatown.
There are reports of face masks selling out due to concerns over the virus.
“It’s no harm to protect myself by wearing a mask,” said Hoon Lee, who is visiting New York from China.
“In New York City, masks are not being recommended,” said Dr. Barbot.
Families typically wishing for good luck or prosperity for the Lunar New Year are now just hoping for good health.
Zhan Liu has been receiving nonstop updates about the coronavirus from her parents, who live in Wuhan.
“Kind of nervous, kind of worried, kind of sad,” she told CBS2’s Christina Fan.
The city is on lockdown with New Year celebrations canceled. Shanghai Disney and even parts of the Great Wall have been shut down.
“We just feel very kind of angry,” Liu said. “A lot of people don’t know the truth, so they just walk around. There are lots of people probably getting contaminated without notice and the protection is not there.”
Currently, there is no vaccine. Health officials say there are preventative actions you can take:
- Avoid contact with sick people
- Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat)
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
- Older travelers and those with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease and should discuss travel to Wuhan with their healthcare provider
The CDC recommends people avoid non-essential travel to Wuhan.
For those who recently traveled to Wuhan and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, CDC recommends:
- Seek medical care right away. Before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about recent travel and symptoms.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Not travel while sick.
- Cover mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Symptoms of the novel coronavirus may include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- A general feeling of being unwell