Chicago mayor responds to second US case of coronavirus

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) on Friday responded to the second U.S. case of a new China-based coronavirus, which was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in her city.

Lightfoot told Hill.TV that the Chicago Department of Public Health has been working closely with CDC officials ever since the outbreak began, noting that airports in the city are among the national screening locations for the virus.

“What we are doing is continuing the screenings at the airport, making sure that we’re sending out information to distinguish the coronavirus from other common colds and flus and we’ll continue to monitor the situation going forward,” Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot confirmed that the woman in Chicago who has come down with the virus had “some contact with mainland China,” but said that the information is “still evolving” and her office would release more information to the public as soon as more details are confirmed.

According to CDC officials, 63 cases in 22 states are currently under investigation for coronavirus, but, so far, only two have tested positive.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the CDC said at a press briefing on Friday morning that the virus is a “very serious public health threat,” but maintained that immediate danger to the American public is minimal at this time.

"We understand that some people are worried about this virus and how it may impact Americans. While this situation poses a very serious public health threat, CDC believes that the immediate risk to the U.S. public is low at this time but the situation continues to evolve rapidly," said Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

The second U.S. case of coronavirus comes as it spreads in China. So far, Chinese officials have reported 26 deaths and more than 800 cases, according to multiple media reports. Authorities have linked the initial infections to seafood and wildlife market in the city of Wuhan.

—Tess Bonn