Coronavirus cases in U.S. rise to five with two in California, one in Arizona

People wear protective respiratory masks in Beijing on Saturday. The U.S. State Department is arranging a chartered flight to evacuate U.S. diplomats and other Americans from Wuhan, China. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UP

Jan. 26 (UPI) — Three more cases of coronavirus — two in Southern California one in Arizona — have been reported within 24 hours, increasing the number in the United States to five.

All five people afflicted have been linked to travel in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak.

On Sunday, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and the Arizona Department of Health Services confirmed one person in the county has been diagnosed with the illness.

“MCDPH and ADHS are currently investigating to identify any close contacts that may have been exposed while the person was infectious,” they said. “Any individuals who have been identified as having been exposed will be contacted directly. These individuals will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms in collaboration with public health and the university.”

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said a patient has been hospitalized and no other details are available.

The Orange County Health Care Agency said in a news release late Saturday a patient had tested positive for the disease after confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The other two U.S. cases, which were both confirmed last week, were in Washington state and Chicago.

The traveler to Orange County was transported to a local hospital and is in isolation in good condition, the county agency said.

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The person contacted the HCA and was provided guidance to reduce exposure to the public while awaiting laboratory confirmation from the CDC.

HCA reported it is following up directly with all individuals who have had close contact with the individual and are at risk of infection.

“The CDC’s guidance indicates that people who have casual contact with a case — in the same grocery store or movie theater — are at minimal risk of developing infection,” HCA said in a news release.

In Orange County, this is no evidence person-to-person transmission has occurred, according to the agency.

The only deaths have been reported in China. In the last report, 56 died — 46 in the mainland and 10 total in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Also, there were 49 cured cases and 2,684 suspected ones.

On Saturday, the U.S. government has ordered all U.S. diplomats in Wuhan, China, to leave the city. The State Department has arranged a chartered flight to evacuate them and department also closed the consulate there.

The Wall Street Journal reported other Americans can fly on the chartered flight, which is expected to seat about 230 people. Any still-available seats will be offered to non-Americans and other diplomats.

Those on board will be required to pay the flight fee.

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