A third case of the lethal coronavirus has been confirmed in the Unites States, health officials have revealed.
The patient in Orange County, southern California, tested positive for the disease which has killed 56 in China and infected 2,000 worldwide.
They had traveled to the US from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, and was taken into isolation where he remains in good condition, the Centers for Disease Control announced just before midnight on Saturday.
The first known case in California comes on the heels of diagnoses of a 30-something man in Washington state on Tuesday and 60-something woman in Chicago on Friday. Both patients had also traveled to China.
The US Consulate in Wuhan announced that it would evacuate its personnel and some private citizens aboard a charter flight.
The CDC expects more Americans to be diagnosed with the newly discovered virus, which is believed to have an incubation period of about two weeks, as worldwide the number of confirmed cases nears 2,000.
The CDC is screening passengers on direct and connecting flights from Wuhan at five major airports in Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The Orange County patient had contacted local health officials, who provided guidance to reduce exposure to the public while awaiting laboratory confirmation from the CDC.
The Orange County agency has consulted with the CDC and the California Department of Health and will follow up with people who have had close contact with the patient.
Guidance from the CDC advises that people who have had casual contact with the patient are at "minimal risk" for developing infection.
There's no evidence that person-to-person transmission occurred in Orange County, and the risk of local transmission remains low, the release said. Further details about the case weren't released.
The CDC had not added the Southern California case to its summary of US cases as of early Sunday.
Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Australia, France and Canada all have reported confirmed cases of the virus, which Chinese state officials today warned was growing stronger.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.