By JASON HARTMAN, AP Sports WriterJACKSON, Wash.
— Cabin fever has been an issue of national attention in Washington since the early days of the 2016 election, as President Donald Trump campaigned against the influx of Somali immigrants to the United States and vowed to protect the country’s borders.
But the disease has taken a new and troubling turn this week as the first reported cases of coronavirus in the U.S. in the first five days of 2018 have included four people who had visited the state of Washington.
On Wednesday, a doctor who had been treating a man who had traveled from Somalia to the state and had tested positive for the coronaviruses at a Seattle hospital announced that he had tested negative, citing symptoms that had been present since January.
The man, who had flown from Somalia, had contracted the coronovirus in February while living in Seattle.
Washington health officials say the coronvirus, also known as the coronavectomy virus, can cause a variety of serious symptoms, including pneumonia and organ failure.
It was first identified in Somalia in late 2017 and first surfaced in Washington in mid-February.
The latest case in the state came at the Seattle airport from Somali-American refugees in Seattle who were visiting relatives and friends.
The four travelers had not been identified and were not hospitalized.
The health department said in a statement that while it was aware of the case and was working with federal health officials, the agency did not know if the patient was connected to the earlier case.
A second person who was also hospitalized with the same symptoms and tested negative did not show symptoms on Wednesday.
The state’s Department of Health said it was not aware of any additional cases in Washington, but that the department was working to notify all local and state health departments.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the first coronaviral case had been confirmed in Washington.
It came from an Oregon man who traveled from Washington to Oregon and had a positive result from a blood test, the state health department reported.
The department of public health said the man was treated at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, and his health remained stable.
The man, whose name has not been released, was identified as Mohammed Abdul-Samad, 37, who was visiting relatives in the city and did not have symptoms, the department said.
Abdul-Samam, a Somali immigrant from Somalia who lives in Seattle and works at a nearby Starbucks, was treated by doctors and sent home.
The Health Department said Abdul-SAMAD was in good health and had no other contact with anyone who tested positive, including his family.
The U.N. refugee agency said in February that it had received seven confirmed cases of the coronavescirus in Washington this year, including three in the Seattle area.
In April, the State Department said it had confirmed six cases in the United State.