1st case of Coronavirus reported in the US, Michigan lawmaker writes CDC asking what's next

Posted at 9:41 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 05:58:51-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The first reported case of the coronavirus has been confirmed in the U.S.

Officials say the Washington state man is now in the hospital listed in stable condition in Everett Washington. Now lawmakers here in Michigan are getting involved and want answers.

Several airports across the country are now stepping up their screening efforts for the virus. Now there are concerns here at Metro Airport where there are direct flights to and from areas where cases of the virus have been reported.

RELATED: Ask Dr. Nandi: Coronavirus cases surge in China as virus spreads

"We’re in regular touch with the CDC, multiple calls a day," said Allison Arwady, commissioner at the Chicago Department of Health, the closest city to Detroit where extra screening is being done at airports.

The first case of the coronavirus has been reported in a town just north of Seattle Washington. A man in his 30s is being treated in the hospital.

"It can cause more severe problems," said Dr. Partha Nandi, chief health editor at WXYZ. "Kidney failure, and it can even cause death and cause severe respiratory syndrome."

There's video going around social media, which has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. It shows passengers on a plane being screened and tested by officials wearing what looks like hazmat suits. The disease can be spread by human to human contact. Passengers arriving from Beijing describe what is happening at airports in China.

"The flight from Wuhan to China Macau, the whole flight (we could not) get off the plane because the people in Macau are very nervous about it, so they test people's temperatures on this flight," said Beijing passenger Chang Yuxi, after arriving in Detroit.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell wrote to the CDC asking what they plan on doing to ensure inbound flights to Detroit are screened for potential cases of the virus, and how the CDC plans to coordinate a response with other public health agencies. Passengers from Beijing say the virus is deadly and dangerous.

"The people in my city are very nervous about this so my parents asked me to buy the face mask to wear," Yuxi sad. "This flu is dangerous so people in my city wear face masks."

Additional screenings are being done at New York’s JFK, San Francisco International airport, LAX, Chicago O’hare and Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta. Health officials in Chicago, the closest city to Detroit, say they’re prepared and ready for the additional screenings.

"It’s the early stages, certainly the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are learning a lot about this everyday, but we’re set really at the Chicago department of public health," Arwady said.

CNBC reported Tuesday evening that there are now more than 440 cases of coronavirus now confirmed in China, and the death toll from the outbreak has risen to nine people.