First coronavirus death in US may be one of growing number of cases from an unknown source, official says

HHS Secretary Alex Azar tells reporters that the risk for contracting coronavirus remains low in the US.

Posted: Mar 1, 2020 4:10 PM
Updated: Mar 1, 2020 4:10 PM

The United States was reacting Sunday morning to the first reported US death from coronavirus with tighter travel restrictions and predictions of more infections and fatalities.

President Trump tweeted about new screening procedures for people arriving from certain "high-risk countries." Vice President Mike Pence said more US deaths are possible but added most Americans should not worry.

New York University doctors and other experts say the US probably has more cases than identified officially. That's because of testing delays and the virus' ability to spread before an infected person shows any symptoms. The New York Times reported Sunday the virus might have been in Washington state for weeks and up to 1,500 people might be infected there.

All this followed official warnings last week that the virus would begin spreading in US communities.

No clear source of infection

The first US death, announced Saturday, added to a growing list of infections circulating in communities without any clear source.

Of the 86,500 cases confirmed globally, at least 2,976 have been fatal -- 2,870 of which were in China. The US has reached at least 74 confirmed cases of the virus, according to counts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local health authorities.

Several of those cases are believed to have been spread person-to-person with unknown origins, including the patient in Washington state who died, said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC.

The patient was a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions, according to Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, health officer for Seattle and King County, Washington.

Two cases in Washington announced Saturday are affiliated with Life Care Center, a nursing facility in Kirkland, Washington, Duchin said.

More than 50 residents and staff at the facility are experiencing symptoms and will be tested for coronavirus, Duchin said. "We're in the process of investigating this situation as an outbreak," he told reporters Saturday.

The facility said in a statement it's not allowing visits from families, volunteers or vendors, and admissions have been placed on hold for the time being. "We take the event very seriously," a statement from the facility's executive director said, in part.

But US officials have urged Americans not to panic.

"It's important to remember," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, "for the vast majority of individuals who contract the novel coronavirus, they will experience mild to moderate symptoms, and their treatment will be to remain at home, treating their symptoms, the way they would a severe cold, or the flu."

74 US cases

Of the 74 confirmed or presumptive positive cases in the US, 44 people were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, three people were repatriated from China and 27 cases were detected in the US, according to health officials.

Presumptive positives mean tests in state or local labs came back positive but have not yet been confirmed by the CDC.

At least 13 cases in the US are travel-related and at least 10 are linked to person-to-person spread, according to the CDC. Several are of unknown origin.

The Rhode Island Department of Health announced the state's first presumptive positive case on Sunday morning. The patient was said to be in their 40s and had in mid-February traveled in Europe, including Italy, where there were 1,694 cases as of Sunday.

The Rhode Island patient is being treated at an undiclosed hospital, and officials are reaching out to people who has had direct contact with the individual, the state Department of Health said in a statement. The patient has had limited travel within the state and hasn't been to work since returning from Italy.

Two more presumptive positive cases were announced in Washington state on Sunday, bringing the state's total number of cases to 8. Both of the new patients were men in their 60s with underlying health conditions, public health officials with Seattle and King County said in a news release. The county now has six cases of coronavirus.

One is hospitalized at Valley Medical Center in Renton and is in critical but stable condition, the news release said. The other is at Virginia Mason Medical Center in critical condition.

Nike said it was deep-cleaning its headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, after health authorities confirmed a case in Washington County.

The Oregon case was announced Friday and is believed to be a case of person-to-person transmission. The individual is a presumptive positive and is in isolation.

"While we have no information indicating any exposure to Nike employees, out of an abundance of caution, we are conducting a deep cleaning of campus," Nike said in a statement to CNN. "All WHQ buildings and facilities, including fitness centers, will be closed over the weekend."

Pence says more deaths 'possible' but risk is low

Pence told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday that it is "possible" more Americans will die.

"But the American people should know the risk for the average American remains low," Pence said.

Pence said federal officials are addressing the lack of testing kits in the US.

The vice president said Saturday the administration is expanding existing travel restrictions on Iran to include foreign nationals who had visited Iran in the last 14 days. The US will also increase travel advisories for Italy and South Korea to Level 4 -- the highest level -- advising Americans not to travel to specific regions in those countries.

On Sunday, Trump announced in a tweet that people will be screened for coronavirus upon arriving in the US if they are traveling from "high-risk countries."

It's not clear what passengers will receive this increased screening. CNN has asked the White House for more information.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48201

Reported Deaths: 2693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11624683
Lake5146242
Elkhart328546
Allen2762129
St. Joseph194366
Cass16389
Hamilton1552101
Hendricks1403100
Johnson1278118
Porter72837
Tippecanoe7158
Madison65864
Clark65144
Bartholomew58544
Howard57557
LaPorte57326
Kosciusko5464
Vanderburgh5226
Marshall4924
Noble47828
Jackson4703
LaGrange4708
Hancock44835
Boone44243
Delaware44250
Shelby42525
Floyd37944
Morgan32931
Grant29426
Monroe29428
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Dubois2736
Henry26315
White26310
Decatur25032
Lawrence24425
Dearborn23623
Vigo2348
Warrick21429
Harrison21322
Unassigned193193
Greene18832
Miami1822
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1607
Daviess14317
Wayne1386
Orange13623
Steuben1292
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1167
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Huntington812
Gibson802
Randolph794
Jefferson722
Wells721
Fulton701
Jay680
Washington671
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown391
Posey390
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Tipton321
Fountain312
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 57150

Reported Deaths: 2911
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10271422
Cuyahoga7724373
Hamilton5924197
Marion273238
Lucas2723302
Pickaway219141
Summit2131206
Montgomery198126
Mahoning1825232
Butler157644
Columbiana130360
Stark1107112
Lorain102167
Trumbull93965
Warren83921
Clark7659
Delaware56815
Fairfield55916
Tuscarawas55210
Belmont54622
Medina51632
Lake49718
Licking47712
Miami46331
Portage44058
Ashtabula43344
Wood42151
Geauga40542
Clermont4006
Wayne36251
Richland3375
Allen31540
Mercer2818
Greene2519
Darke24825
Erie24222
Holmes2313
Huron2152
Madison1958
Ottawa14323
Crawford1355
Sandusky13414
Washington13220
Putnam12815
Ross1243
Hardin12312
Morrow1161
Auglaize1064
Coshocton972
Monroe8917
Jefferson872
Union851
Muskingum831
Hancock781
Hocking788
Preble731
Guernsey703
Lawrence700
Williams702
Clinton680
Shelby684
Logan621
Fulton610
Ashland591
Carroll593
Wyandot586
Athens561
Brown561
Knox511
Defiance503
Fayette460
Highland451
Champaign401
Scioto380
Perry341
Van Wert340
Seneca332
Henry290
Jackson230
Paulding230
Pike230
Adams221
Vinton222
Gallia171
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
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