USA

Oregon confirms first case of coronavirus, third case with unknown origin

Health authorities in Oregon have confirmed what they believe is their first coronavirus case in the state, with the diagnosis marking the third known case nationally where the patient had no previous connection to anyone else with the disease.

The report comes after two patients in California appeared to become ill with the virus through so-called community spread, where the sickness spreads in completely different communities possibly due to people unknowingly carrying the virus.

Officials at the press conference did not reveal the age or gender of the Oregon patient, who is reportedly at Kaiser Permanente Westside Medical Center in Hillsboro.

Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen said the state is still awaiting confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making the case "presumptive" for now. He also said the patient was recently at a local elementary school and is an employee at Lake Oswego School District.

The local school is set to be closed and undergo a deep cleaning before students are allowed back next Wednesday.

On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) increased its coronavirus risk assessment to "very high," but said it doesn’t rise to the level of a global pandemic.

China, where the virus originated, has reported nearly 79,000 total cases of the virus, including 2,791 deaths. Outside China, WHO said there are now 4,351 cases in 49 countries, and 67 deaths.