TUESDAY, Jan. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The first U.S. case of a new coronavirus illness that originated in central China has been identified in a patient in Washington State, federal health officials announced on Tuesday.

In a news briefing, officials said that the male patient was hospitalized with pneumonia last week and had recently traveled to Wuhan, a city of 11 million people in China where the outbreak is thought to have begun. The man is being quarantined at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett “out of an abundance of precaution and for short-term monitoring, not because there is severe illness,” stressed Chris Spitters, M.D., interim health officer for the Snohomish Health District.

The quarantined patient is in his 30s and resides in Snohomish County, north of Seattle, state epidemiologist Scott Lindquist, M.D., explained at the briefing. The patient is currently in good condition and clinically not ill. The man flew home into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Jan. 15 via an indirect flight, officials said. Airport screening for the new virus did not start until Jan. 17. According to officials, the man had been keeping up with the news, and when he developed symptoms on Jan. 19, he reached out to his doctor. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that he had the coronavirus by the next day.

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