Coronavirus Has Likely Been Spreading for 6 Weeks in the U.S.

Coronavirus Has Likely Been Spreading for 6 Weeks in the U.S.

a man holds a sheet protecting a patient being rolled into an ambulance with covid-19

Healthcare workers transport a patient into an ambulance at Life Care Center of Kirkland on February 29, 2020 in Kirkland, Washington, where dozens of staff and residents are reportedly exhibiting coronavirus-like symptoms.

By Eric Mack | Sunday, 01 March 2020 01:59 PM

The coronavirus reportedly might have gone unreported and undetected for six weeks in many parts of the U.S, including Washington State, where the first U.S. death occurred this weekend and a nursing home has multiple cases.

Genetic analysis from a Snohomish County carrier matches that of the first known carrier in the U.S., who traveled from China in January, according to The Washington Post.

Researchers suggests the cases are a result of community transmission, which has been going for weeks.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency after a Seattle-area nursing home reported a 70-year-old woman and a 40-something caregiver have contracted the coronavirus. Also, Saturday the first U.S. death came in Washington, a 50-something man with no recent travel or connection to those known to have been infected, but he did have underlying health issues, according to the report.

The elderly and those with underlying health issues are most vulnerable to dying from the coronavirus, according to scientists. Virus-infected children get very mild symptoms or none at all, and therefore become excellent “carriers” for transmitting serious disease to the elderly. There have been around 3,000 deaths globally from the outbreak, although just one reported to date in the U.S.

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