American Man With Coronavirus Dies At Hospital Near Center Of Epidemic

Medical staffs sterilize the main building of Jinyintan Hospital on Jan. 22 in Wuhan, China. An 60-year-old from who died at the hospital on Thursday is the first American known to have died after being infected by the coronavirus. Getty Images hide caption

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Medical staffs sterilize the main building of Jinyintan Hospital on Jan. 22 in Wuhan, China. An 60-year-old from who died at the hospital on Thursday is the first American known to have died after being infected by the coronavirus.

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The U.S. embassy in China confirmed on Saturday that a 60-year-old American man infected with cornoavirus died at a hospital in Wuhan province on Thursday. It’s the first known American death from the outbreak, which has been declared an emergency by the World Health Organization.

“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss,” an embassy spokesperson told NPR’s Emily Feng. “Out of the respect for the family’s privacy, we have no further comment.”

At the latest count the 2019-nCoV virus, which can cause a form of pneumonia, has infected 31,426 people worldwide and killed 638, NPR reported Friday.

Although the vast majority of infections and all but one death have occurred inside China, worldwide concern about the virus’ spread has caused authorities around the globe to evacuate their personnel from China, cancel flights and quarantine arriving passengers.

Hundreds of Americans have been evacuated from the province, where the coronavirus outbreak originated, and where the vast majority of known cases have been, They are being kept in quarantine on U.S. military bases, under the care of doctors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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It’s not known why this patient was not among the evacuees.

The CDC reports that as of Friday, 21 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the U.S. across six states: Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington and Wisconsin.

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