First Case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Confirmed in Massachusetts, the 8th in the U.S.

Boston–The first case of the 2019 novel coronavirus in Massachusetts has been confirmed in a man returning from Wuhan, China who is in his 20s and lives in Boston.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) were notified by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the positive test results late Friday evening. This is the eighth case of infection with 2019 novel coronavirus reported in the United States. The risk to the public from the 2019 novel coronavirus remains low in Massachusetts.

The man recently traveled to Wuhan, China, and sought medical care soon after his return to Massachusetts. He has been isolated since that time and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials. His few close contacts have been identified and are being monitored for any sign of symptoms.

“We are grateful that this young man is recovering and sought medical attention immediately,’’ said Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD. MPH. “Massachusetts has been preparing for a possible case of this new coronavirus, and we were fortunate that astute clinicians took appropriate action quickly. Again, the risk to the public from the 2019 novel coronavirus remains low in Massachusetts.”

To date, eight cases have been confirmed in the US: three people in California, two in Illinois and one individual each in Massachusetts, Washington State, and Arizona.

On Friday, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared the 2019 novel coronavirus a public health emergency and ordered any US citizens returning from the center of the outbreak in China to be quarantined for two weeks as a precaution. This followed a declaration Thursday by the World Health Organization that the coronavirus outbreak is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Also that day the CDC reported the first case of person-to-person transmission in Illinois between household members.

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