The latest confirmed U.S. case of coronavirus, diagnosed in a California woman, is of “unknown origin” and was found in a patient who had not traveled overseas or had contact with any known travelers, local health officials said on Friday.
Hopes the coronavirus would be contained to China vanished on Friday as infections spread rapidly around the world, countries started stockpiling medical equipment and investors took flight in expectation of a global recession.
The United States and South Korea postponed joint military drills on Thursday to limit the spread of coronavirus, as the number of infections inside China – the source of the outbreak – was for the first time overtaken by fresh cases elsewhere.
The United States told Americans on Tuesday to begin preparing for coronavirus to spread within the country as outbreaks in Iran, South Korea and Italy escalated and fears that the epidemic would hurt global growth rattled markets.
The coronavirus death toll climbed to seven in Italy on Monday and several Middle East countries were dealing with their first infections, sending markets into a tailspin over fears of a global pandemic even as China eased curbs with no new cases reported in Beijing and other cities.
China reported a sharp fall in new deaths and cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, but world health officials warned it was too early to make predictions about the outbreak as new infections continued to rise in other countries.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still handling the bulk of testing for the coronavirus as it works out issues with test kits sent to states, and the federal agency is taking steps to prepare for local spread of the virus, agency officials said on Friday.
The streets of South Korea’s fourth-largest city were abandoned on Thursday, with residents holed up indoors after dozens of people caught the new coronavirus in what authorities described as a “super-spreading event” at a church.
Hundreds of passengers trundled off a cruise ship in Japan on Wednesday after being held on board in quarantine for more than two weeks, as criticism mounted of Japan’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.