First US patient infected with coronavirus leaves hospital

First US patient infected with coronavirus leaves hospital
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A 35-year-old man who was reportedly the first U.S. patient diagnosed with the coronavirus involved in an outbreak in China has left a hospital in Seattle after receiving treatment.

The Associated Press reported Monday that the unidentified man wished to remain anonymous but thanked his doctors and nurses upon leaving Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington.

“I am at home and continuing to get better,” the man said in a statement obtained by the AP. “I ask that the media please respect my privacy and my desire not to be in the public eye.”

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“I appreciate all of the concern expressed by members of the public, and I look forward to returning to my normal life," he continued.

Thousands of people, mostly in China, have been sickened in the outbreak of coronavirus in recent weeks as Chinese officials struggle to control the disease's spread. The virus, which officials believe originated in the city of Wuhan at a seafood market, causes a form of pneumonia that can be deadly. More than 300 people have died in the country from the disease.

An official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called the outbreak an "unprecedented threat" in a statement last week, and added that CDC officials were hoping to join a delegation to China to assist with controlling the disease's spread.

“I think that we at CDC have incredibly strong scientists who have a lot of technical experience with similar diseases,” Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said.

“Our presence on the ground in China would be a help to folks in China trying to unravel this thing,” she added.