CDC Confirms 57 Cases of Coronavirus in US

By Jack Phillips

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 57 cases of coronavirus in the United States, an increase of four from Monday.

All of the new cases were evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was held in medical isolation for two weeks off the coast of Japan, CDC officials confirmed to CNN.

In all, the confirmed cases include 40 passengers who were on board the Diamond Princess, three people evacuated from China, and fourteen U.S. cases. The ship ultimately turned from a quarantine zone into a highly effective means of transmitting the virus, as hundreds of people became infected, leading to four deaths and prompting criticism about how Japanese officials responded.

Of the 14 U.S. cases, eight have been confirmed in California, one in Washington state, one in Arizona, two in Illinois, one in Massachusetts, and one in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, health officials in Oregon, Michigan, and Washington state say they are monitoring hundreds of people who are at risk of contracting the virus.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official, told reporters on Tuesday that the virus will likely begin spreading in the United States in the near future and called on Americans to stay prepared.

“We expect we will see community spread in this country. It’s not so much a question of if this will happen any more, but the rather more correct question to be asking is, ‘When this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness?’” she said.

It comes as new clusters of the virus appeared far from its suspected point of origin in China, creating a sense of apprehension in financial markets and political institutions.

Global stocks dropped their lowest levels in over two months on Tuesday over the spread of the virus and its damage to the global economy. At the same time, the virus triggered a sense of urgency among officials in Europe after an outbreak emerged in Italy, as well as in South Korea, Japan, and Iran, which has far fewer resources.

People wait in line to buy face masks
People wait in line to buy face masks at a retail store in Daegu, South Korea, on Feb. 25, 2020. (Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images)

Croatia and Austria, neighbors of Italy, reported their first cases of coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease. And an Italian man staying at a resort in Spain’s Tenerife island prompted officials to implement a quarantine on a hotel, affecting about 1,000 people.

In the Middle East, Iran, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, and Oman reported their first new coronavirus cases on Monday. They were confirmed as people who had been to Iran.

South Korea has the most virus cases outside China, with 977 infections and 10 deaths, the majority linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the city of Daegu, where the outbreak is believed to have begun with a 61-year-old woman.

Authorities were to test all members of the church, estimated by media at about 215,000 people. President Moon Jae-in acknowledged the situation was “very grave.”

Italy, meanwhile, reported 280 cases and seven deaths, most in the northern Lombardy and Veneto regions but one case emerging in Sicily, the first in the country south of Rome.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times