The first person in the United States to be diagnosed with the novel coronavirus has been discharged from an Everett hospital. The Snohomish County man had been treated in isolation at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett since Jan. 19.
Since being discovered in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people in central China, the new virus is reported to have sickened more than 20,000 people and killed more than 400. As of Monday, 11 people in the United States had tested positive for the virus, and none has died; the Snohomish County man is the only case in Washington.
The man had been traveling solo in Wuhan since November and arrived back at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Jan. 15, two days before screenings started at three U.S. airports with direct flights to and from Wuhan. The Snohomish County man hadn’t taken a direct flight, and public health officials haven’t said which airport or airports he connected through before arriving at Sea-Tac.
The man, who is in his 30s and lives alone, said in a statement released by the hospital that he is home and getting better.
“I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and entire team at Providence who cared for me,” the statement said. “I appreciate all of the concern expressed by members of the public, and I look forward to returning to my normal life.”
While the man is at home, he remains isolated and is being monitored by the Snohomish Health District. The monitoring is the same as what a patient receives after being sent home from a hospitalization for conditions such as tuberculosis, whooping cough, measles or mumps, said Heather Thomas, spokesperson for the health district.
Doctors at Providence worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Snohomish Health District to treat the man and made the joint decision to release him, according to the statement from the hospital. It is unclear exactly when the man was discharged.
Public health officials from Snohomish and King counties and Washington state are monitoring 18 people who had close contact with the man.