coronavirus

Chicago Woman Who Contracted Coronavirus in Good Condition

The woman, who is in her 60s, has been placed in isolation at a suburban Hoffman Estates hospital

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The Chicago woman who contracted coronavirus was in good condition at a suburban Hoffman Estates hospital Friday night, hospital officials said.

The woman, who is in her 60s, returned from Wuhan, China - the epicenter of a recent outbreak - on Jan. 13 and started experiencing symptoms including a fever and shortness of breath in the following days.

After talking to her primary care doctor, the woman went to the emergency room at AMITA Health St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates Monday night, according to the hospital.

Health officials explained several ways people can protect themselves from a coronavirus Friday, the same day officials announced a Chicago woman was diagnosed with the virus. NBC 5's Regina Waldroup reports.

The patient began receiving treatment Monday even though tests performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention didn't confirm she had coronavirus until Thursday, doctors said.

The woman has had "very limited movement outside her home" since her return from China, public health officials said, and has not taken public transit or attended any large gatherings.

Those she did come into close contact with are being monitored, along with healthcare professionals who treated her.

The woman remains in in a specialized "airborne isolation" room in which the air is pushed outside, according to Dr. Lynwood Jones, an infectious disease specialist with AMITA Health.

Dr. Jones added the patient has been communicating well and isn't in distress.

"Probably the patient is bored having to be in isolation," he said. "As far as clinically, she is not in any immediate danger at this time."

It remains unclear how lethal the virus is, or even whether it is as dangerous as the ordinary flu, which kills tens of thousands of people every year in the U.S. alone.

Coronavirus screenings began at O'Hare International Airport Friday - the same day a case was confirmed in a woman from Chicago. NBC 5's Charlie Wojeciechowski reports.

Coronavirus has killed at least 41 people worldwide, sickened hundreds and prompted lockdowns of several cities.

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