First Coronavirus Death Rocks Europe as CDC Director Warns of US Outbreak
The first European death from the coronavirus has been confirmed.
The 80-year-old Chinese tourist from the province of Hubei arrived in France on Jan. 16 and was later isolated and hospitalized on Jan. 25, Fox News reported.
Officials say the man’s condition quickly deteriorated and he died on Friday. His daughter was hospitalized as well but she is expected to recover.
“I was informed last night of the death of an 80-year-old patient who had been hospitalized,” Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said Saturday.
There are currently at least 46 cases of coronavirus in Europe. Germany has the most reported cases, with 16 people infected.
Worldwide, there were 67,192 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,527 fatalities, as of Saturday morning.
The vast majority of the fatalities have taken place in China.
On Thursday, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the 15th case of coronavirus inside the United States.
The patient is among American evacuees out of Wuhan, and is under quarantine at a military base in Texas, CNBC reported.
“There will likely be additional cases in the coming days and weeks, including among other people recently returned from Wuhan,” the CDC said in a statement.
The CDC’s director told CNN that the agency is preparing for a widespread outbreak of COVID-19 across the United States.
“Right now we’re in an aggressive containment mode,” Dr. Robert Redfield said in a Thursday interview.
“We don’t know a lot about this virus,” he added. “This virus is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year, and I think eventually the virus will find a foothold and we will get community-based transmission.”
The containment period gives researchers time to try to understand the virus and develop and test possible vaccines and antiviral drugs. There is currently no cure.
This containment strategy also bolsters efforts to prevent the spread of the virus by keeping confirmed cases isolated from the rest of the community and enforcing travel restrictions.
The Trump administration has implemented travel restrictions on foreign nationals by denying entry to those who visited China in the 14 days before they arrived in the United States, according to CNN.
U.S. citizens are also subjected to mandatory quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival.
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