First American Dies of Coronavirus in China as Cases Surge

A 60-year-old American in Wuhan, China, dies in what is believed to be the first American death from the coronavirus since the outbreak began.
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A 60-year-old American has died from the coronavirus in China, government officials confirmed on Saturday, in what is believed to be the first American death since the outbreak began.

The individual died on Thursday at the Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, according to media reports. No other details were immediately available. 

The news came as mainland China reported its deadliest day in the coronavirus outbreak Friday, with authorities confirming 86 fatalities from the pneumonia-like illness that is paralyzing much of the country, and wreaking fear and havoc globally.

The additional deaths - the largest one-day spike since the outbreak began in December - brings the death toll to 722, with 34,546 infections confirmed in mainland China by Friday, according to China's National Health Commission.

There are currently 12 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S., with the World Health Organization saying this week that there were more than 200 cases in 24 countries outside China.

Also on Saturday, a Japanese man in his 60s also living Wuhan succumbed to the virus.

Meantime, a World Health Organization-led international team is planning to leave for China on Monday or Tuesday to conduct an investigation of the coronavirus outbreak, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Saturday.

Tedros says he “hopes” the team will include officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Federal Reserve on Friday warned that "spillovers" from the coronavirus outbreak are posing a fresh "risk" to both the global and U.S. economic outlooks.

In its monetary report to Congress, the central bank noted that "... possible spillovers from the effects of the coronavirus in China have presented a new risk to the outlook.”

It added that the recent emergence of the coronavirus “... could lead to disruptions in China that spill over to the rest of the global economy.”

U.S. companies already have begun tempering their outlooks, not only due to expected declines in demand and corresponding sales within China, but also due to supply chain disruptions that are expected to negatively impact growth well beyond China’s borders.

For its part, economists at Citigroup warned on Friday that the effect of the virus "will likely be worse than SARS for China and globally.”