At least one person in the United States is infected with the mysterious pneumonia-like virus, officials say.

The virus has killed at least six people and sickened some 300 others. The first U.S. case of the Wuhan coronavirus has been confirmed in Washington State, federal officials said.

The illness was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

“The case of the new coronavirus was confirmed in a man in Seattle, Washington,” Reuters reported.

The outbreak has now affected five countries including the US, the report added.

In addition to China, officials have also reported cases,

According to the CDC, officials have reported cases in Thailand, South Korea, and Japan.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China,” the CDC announced.

“Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in more than 200 confirmed human infections in China and exported cases in Thailandexternal icon, Japanexternal icon, and The Republic of Koreaexternal icon.”

“The outbreak in Wuhan, China has been linked to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting a possible zoonotic origin to the outbreak.”

Risk Assessment

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak caused by a novel (new) coronavirus in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Chinese authorities first identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in about 200 confirmed human infections in China with three deaths reportedexternal icon. A number of countries, including the United States, are actively screening incoming travelers from Wuhan and exported cases have been confirmed in Thailand,external icon Japanexternal icon, and The Republic of Koreaexternal icon.

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Chinese health authorities posted the full genome of the so-called “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV” in GenBankexternal icon, the NIH genetic sequence database, and in the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAIDexternal icon) portal.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people such as has been seen with MERS and SARS. Past MERS and SARS outbreaks have been complex, requiring comprehensive public health responses.

Many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China have reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, suggesting limited person-to-person spread is occurring.

Guidance for Travelers

If you are traveling to areas where there are reported cases, such as the Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, CDC provides the following guidance to travelers:

1. Avoid contact with sick people.

2. Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. If you traveled to Wuhan and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should

6. Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

7. Avoid contact with others.

8. Not travel while sick.

9. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

10. 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.

What to Expect

Access to the full genetic sequence of 2019-nCoV will help identify infections with this virus going forward. More cases may be identified in the coming days, including more in countries outside China, and possibly in the United States. Given what has occurred previously with MERS and SARS, it’s likely that some limited person-to-person spread will continue to occur.