Austin Lampky, Staff Writer
On Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, Washington encountered the first known case of coronavirus in the United States. After returning to the state from a visit to Wuhan in China’s Hubei Province, an unidentified man from Snohomish County complained to his medical provider that he felt ill. He was then taken to the Providence Regional Medical Center located in Everett, Wash., where he was observed by staff who attempted to diagnose his condition.
Six days after his return, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed — after thorough verification — that the man’s illness was, indeed, coronavirus.
According to an article from the Washington Post, the same man is now in stable condition at the same Providence center, and being monitored by personnel “out of an abundance of caution, not because he is seriously ill.”
Prior to this first reported case in the U.S., the coronavirus outbreak had plagued overseas countries as it spread from China to South Korea, and later Thailand. As stated by the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 29, the sickness had spread to “as many as nine-thousand and claimed at least one-hundred and six lives.”
The same article said that the virus’s germination dates back to the middle of December 2019, and some scientific findings have led experts to believe that bats are a possible origin.
With the rising cases of the disease in eastern countries, and the recently confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus in Washington, many other states are on high alert. Concerns about international transmission have mainly revolved around airports since travelers coming into the U.S. from Wuhan are potential carriers of the disease.
The CDC recently spearheaded a charge to prevent such an outcome. Several international airports have started screening travelers upon return. Figures cited by the Washington Post claim that as many as 1,200 people have been screened, and the results showed no sign of the coronavirus entering the states.
ABC News confirmed that as of Jan. 28, the White House had not taken the idea of suspending flights between the U.S. and China off the table, and the CDC had verified five cases of coronavirus within the U.S.
In an email issued to all staff, faculty, and students at Saint Martin’s University, Director of the Student Health Center, Jamie Nixon, PA-C, listed the following symptoms that stem from the coronavirus: “Runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever, and a general feeling of being unwell.”
She also described steps to limit chances of catching the infection, such as: keeping oneself physically distant from a sick person and washing hands with soap and water. Additionally, the on-campus health center has the means to test for the virus in potential carriers.