Outbreak from new virus rises to 440 in China, with 9 dead; US reports 1st case

BEIJING (AP) - China says the number of cases of a new virus has risen to 440 and the death toll has risen to 9. The United States has also announced its first case of the virus.

Travelers wear face masks as they sit in a waiting room at the Beijing West Railway Station in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. A fourth person has died in an outbreak of a new coronavirus in China, authorities said Tuesday, as more places stepped up medical screening of travelers from the country as it enters its busiest travel period. (Source: AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Deputy Director of the National Health Commission Li Bin told reporters all the deaths had been in Hubei province, where the first illnesses from the new coronavirus were reported in December.

Li said Japan and South Korea had confirmed one case each and Thailand three.

The U.S. and Taiwan also have reported one case each.

U.S. health officials said Tuesday a Washington state resident who recently returned from a trip to central China has been diagnosed with the new virus.

The man is in his 30s and is in good condition at a hospital in Everett, outside Seattle. He had traveled to the Wuhan area, where the outbreak began.

Health officials say they believe the overall risk to Americans is low. Several U.S. airports have begun screening passengers for the virus.

Many places overseas have also adopted screening measures out of concern about a global outbreak similar to SARS, another coronavirus that spread from China to more than a dozen countries in 2002-2003.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.