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Chicago resident who traveled to China diagnosed with coronavirus, health officials say

Chicago Tribune logo Chicago Tribune 1/24/2020 By Elvia Malagón, Chicago Tribune

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CHICAGO — A Chicago woman who returned from a visit to China earlier this month has been diagnosed with the respiratory coronavirus that has sickened hundreds in China, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health.

The woman, who is in her 60s, remained hospitalized Friday and her condition had been stabilized, said Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner for the Chicago Department of Public Health, on a news call with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The woman traveled to Wuhan, China, in late December and on Jan. 13 returned to Chicago, Arwady said.

Nationwide, more than 2,000 people had been screened for the virus as of Thursday, and 63 patients in 22 states were being investigated Friday because of possible signs of the virus, according to the CDC.

a person standing in front of a window: Passengers on a tram wear surgical masks on Jan. 24, 2020, in Hong Kong, China. A woman in Chicago who traveled to China earlier this month has been diagnosed with coronavirus. © Willie Siau/SOPA Images/Zuma Press/TNS Passengers on a tram wear surgical masks on Jan. 24, 2020, in Hong Kong, China. A woman in Chicago who traveled to China earlier this month has been diagnosed with coronavirus. The Chicago woman didn’t have any symptoms while traveling, but she began to feel unwell a couple days after arriving home, Arwady said. Her doctor asked about her travel history and worked with the CDC to test the woman for the virus, Arwady said.

There weren’t any other Chicago or Illinois residents who traveled with the woman, Arwady said.

Officials did not say what hospital the woman was being treated at, but they do know she had not taken public transportation in Chicago and had not attended large gatherings, Arwady said. The woman had limited close contact at her home before she was hospitalized.

The Chicago resident is the second confirmed coronavirus case in the United States. Earlier this week, a Washington state resident in his 30s was diagnosed with the virus. He had traveled to the same region of China as the woman.

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