A student from University of Massachusetts at Boston campus student in his 20s was
confirmed Saturday to be the eight case of coronavirus in the United States.
It came a day after U.S. officials declared a public health emergency.
The man recently returned from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, health officials said.
He sought medical care after his return on January 29, according to health officials. And since then he’s kept in isolation. Some of his close contacts have been identified and are being monitored for symptoms.
According to Dr. Jennifer Lo, medical director of the Boston Public Health Commission,
other students aren’t at increased risk in relation to this case.
“He was very appropriate in seeking medical attention. He did not participate in any university activities from the time he arrived in the United States to his home,” Lo said in a call.
“We won’t release him from isolation until we are satisfied it’s safe to do so,” said Dr. Larry Madoff, medical director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences.
The state public health department and the Boston Public Health Commission were notified late Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the positive test results.
“Our priority is not only to protect and inform the residents of Boston but also to help this man continue to recover,” said Rita Nieves, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “We are pleased that he is doing well.”
Nieves said the risk to the general population “remains low.”
“And we continue to be confident we are in a good position to respond to this developing situation,” Nieves said.
In China, there are 11,791 confirmed cases as of Saturday.
China has asked the European Union seeking help in buying medical supplies, the Chinese government said. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang spoke with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, according to a government statement, and is hoping to buy supplies through “commercial channels” from EU countries.
Struggling to contain the spread of the virus, China’s Hubei Province, where Wuhan is the capital, has extended the Lunar New Year holiday break until February 13. Schools and some government offices will remain closed.
China’s government had extended the holiday until February 2. The break was originally scheduled from January 24 to January 30.
Villages and cities in China have resorted to using drones with speakers to patrol streets, scolding people who are out in public without masks, Chinese state media reported.