COVID-19 Disease Confirmed in Washington

SARS-CoV-2 virus tests were conducted in Washington state using the CDC rRT-PCR
coronovirus depiction in orange

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health officials in the state of Washington have reported 3 hospitalized patients who have tested presumptive-positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease, including 1 patient who has died.

Announced in a CDC statement on February 29, 2020, the COVID-19 patient who died was a male in his 50s.

The 2 other patients are from a long-term care facility (LTCF) where one is a healthcare worker.

This is the first reported death in the United States from COVID-19 disease, as well as the initial reported case in a healthcare worker and the first possible outbreak in an LTCF.

The CDC continued to say ‘additional residents and staff of the LTCF who have not yet been tested for COVID-19 are reportedly either ill with respiratory symptoms or hospitalized with pneumonia of unknown cause.

While there is an ongoing investigation, the source of these infections is currently unknown. 

Circumstances suggest the person-to-person spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the community, including in the LTCF.

Testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus was conducted in Washington state using the CDC rRT-PCR. 

The test results will be confirmed at CDC, but a presumptive positive result using the CDC test is treated as a positive for public health response purposes and a coordinated public health response has begun.

CDC spokesperson Dr. Nancy Messonnier said in this statement, “Our hearts go out to the family of the patient who died as well as the families of the people who are caught up in this outbreak.” 

“The health of the residents, staff, and community of this skilled nursing facility are a top priority. We will work with Public Health – Seattle and King County to support the care of the patients, the safety of the health care workers, and the well-being of the people in the surrounding community.”

These reports from Washington follow others of community spread in Oregon and two places in California earlier this week. 

‘While there is still much to learn about the unfolding situations in California, Oregon, and Washington, preliminary information raises the level of concern about the immediate threat for COVID-19 for certain communities in the USA.’

‘The greatest risk is to those who have been in close contact with people with COVID-19. People with suspected or confirmed exposure should reach out to their state or local public health department,’ concluded this CDC statement.

CDC is sending a team of experts to support the investigation in Washington. Dr. Messonnier said, “We recognize that this is a difficult time; we are facing a historic public health challenge.” 

“We will continue to respond to COVID-19 in an aggressive way to contain and blunt the threat of this virus. While we still hope for the best, we continue to prepare for this virus to become widespread in the United States.”

These 3 cases bring the total number of COVID-19 cases detected through the U.S. public health system to 22 during 2020.

SARS-CoV-2 virus outbreak news is published at Coronavirus Today.

Vaccine development news is published at Precision Vaccinations.