US Confirms First 2 Coronavirus Fatalities as California and New York Confirm First Cases

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Photo: JEFF PACHOUD / Getty Images

California has confirmed its first case of coronavirus, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency’s Communicable Disease Control Division.

The patient has just returned from Wuhan, China, the alleged source of the outbreak, and was in a hospital in good condition by Saturday evening, the agency said in a statement. Officials didn’t provide details about the infected patient but said there’s no evidence anyone else in Orange County was exposed to the highly contagious virus.

As of March 1, coronavirus cases number almost 90,000 and deaths have climbed to over 3,000 according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Two people sickened with the coronavirus have died in the United States. Both patients who succumbed to the virus, known officially as COVID-19, were residents of Washington state’s King County, officials said. The second death was announced last night, reports abc.

Most up-to-date data from John Hopkins. Credit: John Hopkins

The United States has confirmed at least 74 cases of COVID-19 so far. New York reported their first case this morning, a female health-worker who lives in Manhatten who had just returned from Iran. Canada, Australia, and Malaysia also reported their first cases Saturday.

Most coronaviruses cause only mild symptoms, similar to those of the common cold. Other strains, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), can cause pneumonia and death.

There is currently no vaccine to protect against the virus, although the National Institutes of Health has confirmed to news outlets that they were in the “early stages” of developing one.

The President tweeted this morning that he is meeting with drug companies who are working on a cure and a vaccine.

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