Second person-to-person coronavirus transmission reported in US, CDC says

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday confirmed the second person-to-person transmission of novel coronavirus in the U.S., marking the tenth and eleventh cases of the pneumonia-like illness in the country.

The two cases occurred in a husband and wife in California, said Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, which is a part of the CDC, during a Monday telebriefing. While Messonnier did not provide additional details, a Sunday news release from the San Benito County Health and Human Services Agency said the husband, 57, had recently traveled to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. He transmitted the illness to his wife, also 57, following his return to the U.S.

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Both patients have remained in their home since the husband returned from China.

“San Benito County Public Health Services provided guidance for home isolation and is closely monitoring their medical condition. Currently, both patients are not hospitalized,” officials said, maintaining that the risk “to the general public in California and locally in San Benito County continues to be low at this time.”

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Last week, the first person-to-person transmission of coronavirus was reported in the U.S. in a husband and wife in Chicago. At the time, officials said the patient was the husband of a Chicago woman who was diagnosed with the illness after returning from Wuhan. The man continued close contact with his wife while she was symptomatic, ultimately exposing him to the virus.

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During the telebriefing, Messonnier stressed that there’s likely to be more cases of person-to-person transmission of coronavirus in the U.S., which is awaiting the test results of some 82 suspected cases. Messonnier said that the 167 other potential cases have tested negative for the virus.

Currently, there are six cases of the novel coronavirus in California, one in Arizona, one in Washington state, one in Massachusetts and two in Illinois. No deaths have been reported in the U.S. and the large majority of cases still remain in China.