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Federal authorities say Massachusetts patient flew from Hubei province in central China

Federal health officials on Saturday confirmed an eighth case of the coronavirus in the US, concerning a person who traveled from China.

The latest US patient, who was not identified, is in Massachusetts, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement.

The person recently returned from Hubei province in central China, the center of the outbreak. No other details were provided.

The flu-like coronavirus is believed to have originated in a market that traded illegally in wildlife in Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei. It has resulted in 259 deaths in China, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday.

All but one of the patients in the US is believed to have contracted the disease in the Wuhan area. US officials this week reported the first human-to-human transmission in the US, in Illinois.

Nearly 12,000 people have been infected globally, according to the WHO, with all but 130 cases occurring in China.

The Trump administration has declared a public health emergency and barred entry to the US of foreign nationals who have recently visited China.

US airlines have suspended flights to and from the country. On Saturday, Apple said it was temporarily closing its 42 stores in mainland China, one of its largest markets out of an abundance of caution and based on the latest advice from leading health experts. The stores will stay closed until 9 February.

Health officials have said risks to the US remain low but American citizens who have traveled within the past two weeks to Hubei will be subject to a mandatory quarantine of 14 days, believed to be the incubation period of the virus, officials said.

Americans who have visited other parts of mainland China will undergo special health screening upon their return, followed by up to 14 days of monitored self-quarantine under the temporary restrictions.

The first quarantines of US citizens potentially exposed to coronavirus in China began hours before the White House announcement on Friday.

Nearly 200 Americans evacuated earlier this week from Wuhan and voluntarily confined to a California military airbase for 72 hours of health screenings were placed under a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

It was the CDCs first quarantine order in 50 years.

On Saturday the Department of Defense said it had approved a request for housing support for 1,000 people who may need to be quarantined on arrival from overseas. The Pentagon facilities for quarantine are in California, Colorado and Texas.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/01/coronavirus-us-confirms-eighth-case-massachusetts-quarantine