SANTA ANA, Calif (AP) - Hours after confirming a third American case of coronavirus, the new pneumonia-like virus from China, two more cases have been confirmed in the U.S.
Two new confirmed cases were announced Sunday - one in Los Angeles County in California and the other in Arizona. All of the U.S. patients had traveled to Wuhan, the Chinese city that is the center of the outbreak.
The case is the second in southern California; the Orange County Health Care Agency said Saturday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed a traveler from the epicenter of the outbreak in China tested positive for the virus. The case comes on the heels of confirmed cases in Washington state and Chicago. The patient is in isolation at a hospital and in good condition.
The local health agency is monitoring people who have had close contact with the patient.
The CDC expects more Americans to be diagnosed with the newly discovered virus, which is believed to have an incubation period of about two weeks, as worldwide the number of confirmed cases nears 2,000. The CDC is screening passengers on direct and connecting flights from Wuhan at five major airports in Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Canada said it discovered its first case, a man in his 50s who was in Wuhan before flying to Toronto. Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea each reported one new case Sunday, while Thailand reported three new cases.
To date, 56 people have died and 1,975 are infected. All of the deceased are in China.
The rapid increase in reported deaths and illnesses does not necessarily mean the crisis is getting worse but could reflect better monitoring and reporting of the virus. Those killed by the virus have mostly been older people, sometimes suffering from other conditions that weaken their ability to fight back.
It is not clear how lethal the new coronavirus is or even whether it is as dangerous as the ordinary flu, which kills tens of thousands of people every year in the U.S. alone.
For more information on the coronavirus from the CDC, click here.