Skip to main content

CDC: First US Case of Novel Coronavirus Confirmed

January 22, 2020

The first US case of novel coronavirus has been confirmed in Washington state. The patient had recently returned from Wuhan, China, the original site of the outbreak.

Although it was originally thought that the virus was spreading animal-to-person, there is now evidence suggesting limited person-to-person spread.

The patient returned from Wuhan on January 15, 2020 and sought care in Washington state. Based upon their symptoms and travel history, health care providers suspected the novel coronavirus, and sent a sample to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which confirmed the diagnosis.

Earlier this week, CDC updated guidelines* for US health care providers for the treatment of patients with suspected novel coronavirus associated with the current outbreak. Airport screening is currently occurring in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, with screening in Atlanta and Chicago beginning this week. Travel from Wuhan will be redirected to airports screening for the infection.

CDC also plans to share their newly developed test for detection of the virus in clinical specimens with domestic and international partners in the near future. At this time, all testing must be conducted by CDC.

—Michael Potts

*Read the guidelines from the CDC


First Travel-related Case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Detected in United States [press release]. Atlanta, Georgia: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; January 21, 2020. Accessed January 21, 2020.

Back to Top