Health officials have confirmed the first person-to-person spread of the potentially deadly Wuhan coronavirus in the United States.
A woman who returned home to Chicago a couple of weeks ago from Wuhan, China, was among the first Americans to have contracted the pneumonia-like virus, and wound up transmitting the disease to her husband.
Husband and wife, both in their sixties, are now in the hospital, and six cases of the virus have been reported in the U.S. to date. While this is hardly heartening news, it was not unexpected. “We anticipated this,” Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University infectious diseases expert, tells the AP.
“The kind of contact that you have in a household is very close and very prolonged. That’s the kind of circumstance where we would anticipate a virus such as this could be transmitted.”
The World Health Organization has now also designated the virus as an international health emergency.