What exactly happened to the first case of COVID-19 in America?
What We Know
- January 19, 2020: A 35-year-old man arrived at a clinic in Snohomish County, north of Seattle, Washington.
- He had recently returned from Wuhan, China where he visited family; he did not knowingly make contact with anyone ill OR visit the open market in question as the source of a mysterious outbreak.
- By the time he arrived at the doctor’s, he hadn’t felt well for several days.
Timeline of Illness
- Jan 15: Patient travels home from China.
- Jan. 16 or Day 1 of illness: Cough starts.
- Days 4-5: Nausea/vomiting; goes to clinic, admitted to hospital.
- Days 6-11: Fever of 102-103F.
- Day 9: Evidence of pneumonia, depleted oxygen levels.
- Day 10: Given oxygen, antivirals.
- Day 12: Taken off oxygen, cough continues; remains hospitalized at least through Jan. 30th + home isolation.
“Our report of the first confirmed case of 2019-nCoV in the United States illustrates several aspects of this emerging outbreak that are not yet fully understood, including transmission dynamics and the full spectrum of clinical illness.”
Analysis by Washington State 2019-nCoV Case Investigation Team who said one of the challenges of COVID-19 is that it presents like other respiratory illnesses during flu season. They noted the similar, rapid evolution from no signs of pneumonia to a diagnosis in 5 days.
“Everyone should know these red-flag symptoms. COVID can turn serious in any age adult. If you’re a healthy adult under 60, the signs and symptoms to seek care are much the same that I would say for the flu – prolonged high fever (104 or higher), chest pain, shortness of breath, lethargy, or inability to drink fluids or urinate.”
Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, ER physician and author of “Mom Hacks.”
“We’re at a critical junction right now, but we can still mitigate this substantially.”
Trevor Bedford, Bedford Labs, wrote this on March 2, 2020. The prominent researcher believes Patient Zero may have led to upwards of 1,500 cases in the Seattle area, which he expects will mimic Wuhan, China with a spike in illnesses. The CDC calls his work tracing the illness an “interesting hypothesis,” but says others may have contributed to the spread.
It reportedly took Patient Zero nearly a month to be deemed “fully recovered” and no one in close contact with him is known to have tested positive for the illness. The Seattle area remains one of the hardest hit in the nation.
First Case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the United States
- Seattle’s Patient Zero Spread Coronavirus Despite Ebola-Style Lockdown
- Cryptic transmission of novel coronavirus revealed by genomic epidemiology
- First Travel-related Case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Detected in United States
- CDC Confirms Person-to-Person Spread of New Coronavirus in the United States
by Jenna Lee,