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Coronavirus Confirmed In Chicago; Woman In Her 60s Being Treated For Symptoms

CHICAGO (CBS)-- Illinois health officials announced the second confirmed case of coronavirus in the United States is a woman in the Chicago area.

The woman is being treated in isolation at St. Alexius Hospital in Hoffman Estates, hospital officials confirmed. She was admitted to the hospital on Monday.

She traveled back from China to Chicago on January 13 but she wasn't showing symptoms then. A week and a half later, the woman in her 60s was put in quarantine. She had shortness of breath and a fever when she arrived at the emergency room and was quickly placed in isolation, officials said. Her condition was described by doctors on Friday night as good.

CBS 2's Marissa Parra broke the news in Chicago on Friday.

The CDC said she did not take public transit while in Chicago and that she barely left her home. It was three to four days after being home that the woman started feeling symptoms and called her doctor. She was taken to a hospital and was immediately tested and quarantined.


The Chicago woman is currently at the hospital where her condition is stabilized. She'll remain there until she is tested as completely cleared of the virus.

Dr. Allison Arwady of the Chicago Department of Public Health said the woman took all correct precaution, including contacting her doctor before arriving at the office.

The woman's limited close contacts will be monitored.

"This is very reassuring," Arwady said.

Officials said this is not a local emergency and the public risk remains low.

The outbreak started in Wuhan, population 11 million. China has moved to lock down at least three major cities in an effort to contain the virus.

O'Hare this week officially started screening travelers arriving from China. Customs and Border Patrol added that the screening at O'Hare should be fully operational by Friday.

On Friday, health officials said measures are being taken to ensure O'Hare employees are safe and have the information needed.

A group of University of Wisconsin-Platteville students passed through O'Hare International Airport after returning to the U.S. from Wuhan, China – and they were being watched Thursday night for coronavirus.

UW-Platteville said Thursday that six students arrived on campus Tuesday after traveling recently to Wuhan. Two of the six students live in Wuhan, the university said.

According to CBS affiliates in Milwaukee and Madison, UW-Platteville officials said the two Wuhan residents were screened at O'Hare.

None of the six students has shown signs of coronavirus infection, but their temperatures are being taken regularly as a precaution.

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people, according to the World Heath Organization. The common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

This form of coronavirus is new and medical experts are studying the virus, how it affects the infected people and how they can be treated.


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