US confirms first death, in Washington state

(BBC) – The US has reported its first death from the new coronavirus, in the north-west state of Washington.

Officials said the patient was a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions.

President Donald Trump said more cases were “likely” but that the US was prepared for any circumstance.

Officials said they were expanding travel restrictions on Iran and urged Americans to avoid hard-hit parts of Italy and South Korea.

More than 85,000 coronavirus cases have been reported in 57 countries around the world and almost 3,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. The vast majority of infections and deaths are in China, where the virus emerged late last year.

What is happening in the US?

Local health officials confirmed on Saturday that the man in his 50s died in Washington state’s King County. They said he had not travelled to any high-risk areas.

There was confusion earlier as Mr Trump described the patient as a “wonderful woman”.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency in response to new cases in the state.

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