Could the coronavirus have hit the US in early January?

“We have found five cases now that the date of onset of symptoms was in January. Five different cases so far, five different counties.”

3D medical animation still shot showing the structure of a coronavirus (photo credit: WWW.SCIENTIFICANIMATIONS.COM)
3D medical animation still shot showing the structure of a coronavirus
(photo credit: WWW.SCIENTIFICANIMATIONS.COM)
The coronavirus outbreak could have come to the US earlier than previously believed, according to Ohio health officials who traced the state's first likely coronavirus case to January 7, two weeks before "patient zero" was documented in Washington state, the Washington Times reported.
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, Ohio Health Department director Amy Acton explained that this information was found as a result of antibody testing, which discovered five people in the state who had contracted coronavirus in January.
“We actually have a new date of onset,” the director explained. “We have found five cases now that the date of onset of symptoms was in January. Five different cases so far, five different counties.”
This number was later updated to six, according to the Times.
Health Department spokesperson Melanie Amato's Office said in a statement, however, that these cases were not confirmed but were instead "considered probable," since they were not actually tested for coronavirus in January and only gave estimates from when they came down with symptoms, the Times reported.
Ohio's first coronavirus cases were initially believed to have been discovered on March 10, when three patients in Cuyahoga County were found to have tested positive. However, due to recent discoveries, Acton explained that the department is “doing a lot more investigation. Our disease detectives are going back to take a look at that. These diseases now, we can pick them up because of the antibody testing.”
The coronavirus outbreak began in China but has since spread all over the world, with the US becoming the worst-hit country globally. At the time of writing, the virus has infected over 1 million Americans and killed over 82,000.


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