by on February 8, 2020

A U.S. citizen diagnosed with the novel coronavirus has died in China in what appears to be the first death of an American from the virus that has sickened tens of thousands of people in China and killed more than 700, a U.S. Embassy spokesperson said.

"We can confirm a 60-year-old U.S. citizen diagnosed with coronavirus died at Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, China, on Feb. 6," a spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said.

"We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss. Out of the respect for the family’s privacy, we have no further comment," the spokesperson said.

Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also offered his condolences on behalf of the agency and said the CDC remains "vigilant" in its efforts to prevent further spread and impact of the deadly virus.

More than 37,198 cases have been confirmed in mainland China as of Saturday morning, the health commission said.

Wuhan and Hubei province, where the city is located, is at the center of the coronavirus outbreak. The virus has been detected in more than 20 other countries, including in the United States.

Twelve people in the U.S. have been confirmed to have the virus, but some of them have been released from the hospital, including a Chicago couple who are now home.













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