US citizen dies of coronavirus in Wuhan

The 'New York Times' reported that this "appears" to be the first death of an American since the outbreak began.

Medical workers in protective suits attend to novel coronavirus patients inside an isolated ward at a hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province, China February 6, 2020. Picture taken February 6, 2020 (photo credit: CHINA DAILY VIA REUTERS)
Medical workers in protective suits attend to novel coronavirus patients inside an isolated ward at a hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province, China February 6, 2020. Picture taken February 6, 2020
(photo credit: CHINA DAILY VIA REUTERS)
A US citizen has died of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China, The New York Times reported, adding that this "appears" to be the first death of an American since the outbreak began.
“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss,” a spokesman for the United States Embassy in Beijing told the Times. “Out of respect for the family’s privacy, we have no further comment.”
The man died on Thursday, February 6, and was around 60 years old, the report said, citing the embassy.
The man was suspected of having been infected with the coronavirus, but due to difficulties in diagnosing the disease the cause of death was given as viral pneumonia, the ministry said citing Chinese medical authorities.
As of noon Thursday, there have been 19 cases of foreigners infected with the coronavirus, of which two had been discharged from hospital and 17 were being quarantined and treated, Hua Chunying, spokeswoman at the Chinese foreign ministry, told reporters at a regular briefing last Thursday.
The total death toll in mainland China rose by 86 to 722 on Saturday, according to Chinese authorities, and is poised to pass the 774 deaths recorded globally during the 2002-2003 pandemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), another coronavirus that jumped from animals to humans in the world's most populous country.
During the SARS outbreak between November 2002 and July 2003, the number of reported cases was 8,098, suggesting a far lower transmission rate than the latest coronavirus, but a higher mortality rate.
So far only two deaths have been reported outside mainland China - in Hong Kong and the Philippines - from about 332 cases in 27 countries and regions. Both of those victims were Chinese nationals.
"It is hard to say how lethal this novel coronavirus infection is," Professor Allen Cheng, an infectious diseases expert at Monash University in Melbourne, told Reuters.
"While the crude mortality appears to be around 2%, there are likely to be many people who have been infected that haven't been tested ... We probably won't know the true case fatality for some time yet."
Hubei officials on Saturday reported 81 new deaths, 67 of them in Wuhan, a city under virtual lock down. Across mainland China, excluding the 2,050 people who had recovered and those who had died, the number of outstanding cases stood at 31,774.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday said the United States was prepared to spend up to $100 million to assist China and support coronavirus efforts by the WHO. The US has sent nearly 17.8 tons of medical supplies to China, including masks, gowns and respirators, a State Department official said.
America began taking precautions against the spread of the deadly virus early in the outbreak. On January 17, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) announced a joint effort, which involved deploying health officials to airports.
On February 1, US officials confirmed the country’s eighth case of coronavirus. Cases have been confirmed in Massachusetts, California, Illinois, Washington state and Arizona.


Tags Wuhan