Coronavirus Continues to Spread in United States as 5 Cities Report Cases

The deadly new strain of the Coronavirus that has killed dozens in China and infected thousands more has made its way to America, and authorities around the country are struggling to keep up.

In Wuhan, China, believed to be the epicenter of the outbreak, medical professionals and authorities are working around the clock in an attempt to curb the spread of the terrifying virus.  The swift-moving illness has an incubation period of 14 days or so, making early detection nearly impossible – complicating the issue of containing this new form of Coronavirus.

Here in the United States, at least five cases of the illness have been identified.

A Maricopa County, Arizona, resident is the fifth confirmed coronavirus case in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Sunday.

The development comes after the federal public health agency said a fourth case was confirmed in Orange County, California. Other cases have been confirmed in Orange County, California, Washington state, and Chicago.

The virus can cause fever, coughing, wheezing and pneumonia. It is a member of the coronavirus family that’s a close cousin to the deadly SARS and MERS viruses that have caused outbreaks in the past.

Dozens of people have died from the virus in China, which has issued massive travel bans in hard-hit sections of that country to try to stem spread of the virus. The U.S. consulate in Wuhan announced Sunday that it would evacuate its personnel and some private citizens aboard a charter flight.

And it’s not over yet.

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.

The disease is still not fully understood, and speculation has been rampant as to how the virus entered the human population.  The latest theory is that market-goers in Wuhan were exposed to the deadly virus through tainted snake meat.