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Health officials monitoring 63 people with contact to Snohomish County man with coronavirus

Health officials are monitoring 63 people who came in close contact with a Snohomish County man who has the 2019 novel coronavirus.

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Health is monitoring 63 people who had close contact to a Snohomish County man with coronavirus. 

The man, who is in his 30s, has the first reported case of 2019 novel coronavirus in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Public health staff began reaching out to people the 30-year-old came in contact with on Monday.

As of Monday morning, there were five confirmed cases of the new pneumonia-like virus from China in the U.S.

RELATED: State health officials say novel coronavirus patient in Snohomish County is doing well

“The risk to the general public remains low. If there is a location where we are concerned about potential transmission, and where public health cannot contact those individuals directly, that information will be released quickly," said Snohomish County Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters.

Health officials are actively monitoring the people the man came in close contact with, calling them each day to check for symptoms. 

The health department says 2019 novel coronavirus is concerning because it’s a new strain and can cause pneumonia.

RELATED: What to know about the Wuhan coronavirus

The man returned to the U.S. from Wuhan, China on Jan. 15, traveling through Sea-Tac International Airport. The virus is believed to have originated from Wuhan. He appears to have developed symptoms after visiting and was hospitalized at Providence Medical Center in Everett. He is being monitored in an isolation unit, according to Providence.  

RELATED: Human-to-human transmission confirmed in China coronavirus

As of Monday morning, the death toll from the virus had risen to 81 and over 2,700 people had been infected in China by the mysterious respiratory infection. 

Coronaviruses are primarily spread through respiratory droplets. People generally have to be within six feet of an infected person and have droplets land on them. 

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