Florida resident diagnosed with coronavirus in Washington state, authorities say

CDC: Florida has 4 coronavirus cases

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida resident was diagnosed with the new coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, in Washington state, authorities said on Wednesday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said the patient, who is in isolation, “had been traveling in Asia, probably in China.” The Centers for Disease Control considers this a Florida case even though the diagnosis was in Washington, DeSantis said.

A New York man who had recently traveled to Miami was diagnosed with the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Tuesday. Investigators are tracking the nature of the man’s trip to Miami-Dade County. The CDC considers this a New York case.

Three people have been diagnosed with the potentially deadly respiratory infection in Florida, as the new virus, which was first detected in China last year, has infected more than 100 people in the U.S.

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One Florida patient is in Manatee County and the other two Florida patients -- who were diagnosed after traveling to Italy -- are in Hillsborough County.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, of the National Institutes of Health, said data collected about the virus in China shows about 10% to 15% of those infected get seriously ill. The elderly and patients living with health conditions are most vulnerable.

Fauci also told the Senate on Tuesday that pharmaceutical company Gilead is testing a potential treatment.

“We will know in a few months if it works,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, adding that developing a vaccine would take at least a year.

About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.