The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed three new coronavirus cases in Washington state Saturday, including the first U.S. death from the virus. The new cases bring the total number of infections contracted in the United States to 22.

The cause of the three new infections is unknown, but the CDC said circumstances suggest person-to-person spread in the community.

State health officials said the person who died, a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions, had no recent history of travel or contact with people known to be infected. President Trump earlier had said the victim was a woman.

The other two new cases signaled the first possible outbreak in a long-term nursing facility and raise the level of concern for certain communities, said Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Jeffrey S. Duchin, the chief health officer for Seattle and King County, identified the nursing facility as Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash.

One of the infections there involves a female health-care worker in her 40s who is in satisfactory condition at Overlake Hospital, state health officials said. She has no known recent travel outside the United States.

Another patient from Life Care is a female resident in her 70s, who is in serious condition at EvergreenHealth hospital. Officials have not said whether she had traveled recently.

Duchin said he would not be surprised to find additional cases at the nursing home as an investigation continued. Of Life Care’s more than 108 residents and roughly 180 staffers, Duchin said 27 residents and 25 staff members have shown coronavirus symptoms.

The death occurred at EvergreenHealth but is not associated with the long-term nursing facility.

The CDC said it was sending a team of experts to Washington to support its investigation.

In addition to the cases contracted in the United States, 47 other people who have been repatriated to the United States from Wuhan, China, and from the Diamond Princess cruise ship have the coronavirus. The government has involuntarily quarantined hundreds of people who were exposed to the virus.

source: The Washington Post


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