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S&P Falls After Possible Third U.S. Case

Bloomberg reports S&P Falls After Possible Third U.S. Case

U.S. lawmakers said health authorities are expected to confirm a third case of coronavirus in the U.S., following a closed-door briefing between lawmakers in Washington and federal health officials. Senators John Barrasso of Wyoming and Josh Hawley of Missouri said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told lawmakers about the new case at the briefing. The CDC earlier Friday announced a second case, in Illinois, and has said it expects more to emerge as it monitors more than 60 people.

U.S. federal and local health authorities are monitoring more than 60 people as they attempt to catch new cases of coronavirus in travelers from China, where the outbreak is centered. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed a second case in Illinois Friday.

The Illinois patient developed symptoms after returning from Wuhan, China. The woman, in her 60s, is in stable condition and has been isolated in a hospital to try and avoid infecting more people, said Jennifer Layden, chief medical officer and state epidemiologist for the Illinois Department of Public Health. She didn’t have close contact with people outside her home after her return, and authorities haven’t seen symptoms in others associated with her.

The virus has an incubation period of about two weeks before infected people start to show symptoms, which resemble a cold or flu, the CDC said. U.S. authorities have screened more than 2,000 travelers from China on 200 flights without identifying any new patients.

China’s Unproven Antiviral Solution: Quarantine of 40 Million

Please consider China’s Unproven Antiviral Solution: Quarantine of 40 Million

The effectiveness of attempting to cordon off the epicenter of the disease -- an area of roughly 40 million people -- will probably be scrutinized far into the future.

“The containment of a city hasn’t been done in the history of international public health policy,” said Shigeru Omi, who headed the World Health Organization’s Western Pacific Region during the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s. “It’s a balance between respecting freedom of movement of people, and also prevention of further disease and public interest. It’s not a simple sort of thing; it’s very complex.”

Some argue the authorities may have had no choice, since certain patients appear to have milder symptoms that can go undetected, allowing them to unwittingly spread the disease. Saturday also marks the start of the Lunar New Year holiday, when more than 500 million trips by plane and rail may be taken within and out of China.

It’s a tremendous legal, institutional, not to mention logistical challenge, but it’s an authoritarian state with a top leader who happens to have centralized power,” said Yanzhong Huang, director of the Center for Global Health Studies at Seton Hall University.

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In modern times, quarantines have yielded limited results. A study in the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology determined Toronto’s use of quarantine wasn’t effective in slowing SARS. An impoverished neighborhood in Liberia quarantined during an Ebola outbreak in 2014 responded with violent riots.

Estimated Cases

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China Virus Overwhelms Wuhan’s Health System

The Wall Street Journal reports China Virus Overwhelms Wuhan’s Health System, as City Rushes to Build New Hospital

China’s viral outbreak is straining the resources of front-line hospital staff in epidemic-stricken Wuhan, who have been forced to turn away patients because of a lack of beds and basic medical supplies.

Hospitals throughout Hubei province, home of the vast majority of the confirmed cases, posted messages on social media in recent days pleading for donated supplies as panicked consumers emptied store shelves of face masks and hand sanitizer.

There’s a shortage of medical supplies, help!!!” the Wuhan Children’s Hospital posted Thursday on China’s Twitter-like Weibo service.

Local businessman Xiang Dong, 52 years old, said he had visited five major hospitals across Wuhan on Thursday, all with massive crowds and hourslong waits.

Screening Starts at Chicago O'Hare Airport

By the time symptoms are spotted in others it's too late to stop the spreading.

The woman in Chicago, now confirmed, arrived 11 days ago.

ZeroHedge comments "This Time I'm Petrified": Virologist Who Helped Discover SARS Offers Chilling Take On Coronavirus Outbreak

What is One to Do?

Quarantine the entire country? Ban all incoming travel from China?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock