For the first time in the U.S., the coronavirus has spread from one person to another, health officials said on Thursday. The 6th diagnosed case in the U.S. was identified as the husband of a Chicago woman who got sick from the virus after she returned from the epicenter of an outbreak in China. There have been previous cases in China and elsewhere of the virus spreading between people in a household or workplace. 

The Chicago woman came back from the central China city of Wuhan on Jan. 13, then last week went to a hospital with symptoms and was diagnosed with the viral illness. She and her husband, both in their 60s, are hospitalized. The man began feeling sick Tuesday and was put in isolation that day. Tests confirming that he was infected came back Wednesday night, officials said.  The man doesn’t use public transportation and he had not attended any large gatherings. Anyone who had been in close contact with him is being monitored, said officials with the state and with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The other U.S. cases are in Arizona, Southern California and Washington state. The coronavirus has sickened thousands, mostly in China, and killed about 170. Older people, and those with other health conditions, are believed to be at greater risk for severe illness from the virus. Coronavirus can cause fever, coughing, wheezing and pneumonia. Health officials think it spreads mainly from droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how the flu spreads.

U.S. reports 1st case of person-to-person spread of coronavirus


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