Washington State Authorities Identify 2 Coronavirus Cases

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(Bloomberg) -- Washington state identified two new coronavirus cases, including a school-aged adolescent who has no known travel history or encountered anyone who had visited affected areas, health officials said.

The two tested positive in local tests and are awaiting confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The other patient had traveled to South Korea.

The suspected case of local transmission would be the fourth in the U.S. -- after two in California and one in Oregon -- where someone who hadn’t traveled to a known hot spot for the Covid-19 outbreak had become infected.

The adolescent was treated after falling ill on Monday, was seen at two local clinics, and attempted to return to school at Henry M. Jackson High School north of Seattle on Friday morning, Snohomish County health officer Chris Spitters said.

The student is in home isolation and doing well, Spitters said. The school will undergo cleaning over the weekend, and stay closed on Monday. The authorities believe the person has not traveled overseas, or been in contact with people under observation for potential coronavirus exposure.

The second patient, a woman in her 50s, traveled to Daegu, South Korea, from February 7 to February 23, before returning to Seattle. She worked on Tuesday, noticed symptoms by the end of the day, and called a health-care provider on Wednesday. She is “recovering without complications,” authorities said.

“We expect more cases,” said Jeff Duchin, health officer at Public Health Seattle and King County, asking the public to “think very hard” about basic hygiene. “There are things people can do to protect themselves.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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