CHICAGO, Ill. (KFVS) - A second case of the coronavirus was confirmed in Illinois.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Chicago Department of Public Health, the Cook County Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCov).
This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the U.S. to six.
The man, in his 60s, is the spouse of the first confirmed travel-related case in Illinois. He had not traveled overseas but interacted with his wife after her return from China.
This is the first person-to-person spread of the virus in the United States.
On Friday, January 24, the CDC and health departments announced the first confirmed Illinois case of 2019-nCov in a Chicago resident, a woman in her 60s who returned from Wuhan, China on Jan. 13. The woman is still in the hospital in stable condition and is doing well. The second patient is also hospitalized in stable condition.
According to the IDPH, health officials are investigating locations where the second patient has visited in the last two weeks and any close contacts who were possibly exposed. They say they are taking an aggressive approach in identifying and actively monitoring individuals who were in contact with both confirmed cases in an effort to reduce the risk of additional transmission.
A CDC team continues to be deployed to Illinois to support the efforts.
U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth released the following statement on Thursday:
Although this is the first person-to-person transmission in the U.S., health officials say it is still not yet clear how easily 2019-nCoV spreads from one person to another. With MERS and SARS, also novel coronaviruses, the virus was thought to have spread mainly through sneezing and coughing, similar to the flu. In general, it was spread between close contacts.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. It has not been found to be spreading widely in the United States, so there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public to take.
However, the following everyday preventive actions can help prevent the spread of several viruses, including seasonal flu:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces