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             Cheryl and Paul Molesky give an inside look at how they spend their days while quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship due to the coronavirus.           Storyful

Confirmed coronavirus cases boomed this week as China altered its method for counting , but thus far the death rate from the disease remains far below the SARS epidemic that rattled the global health system almost two decades ago.

Also Thursday, U.S. health officials confirmed a th US case.

The death toll from the new coronavirus that surfaced in China late last year (rose to 1, on Thursday . All but three of the deaths have been in mainland China.

China previously only counted cases confirmed when a person tested positive for the virus. Chest imaging and other medical diagnoses are now included.

“While this may be a sensitive technique to look for an infection With the new coronavirus, it may also identify patients with other, similar viral illnesses including the flu, artificially inflating the actual number of cases, “said Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.

Glatter said the coronavirus, dubbed COVID – , is proving difficult to contain.

“The lack of reliable information combined with a highly transmissible virus is problematic, to say the very least, “Glatter said. “Relying on health care providers to report cases – using clinical suspicion along with CT scans with certain patterns of lung inflammation – as ‘positive’” is not an ideal approach. ”

Melissa Nolan, a physician and professor of epidemiology at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health, told USA TODAY that China’s effort to include people with clinical characteristics of disease without a confirmed diagnosis can help expedite public health measures by ensuring all potentially infectious people are isolated.

Nolan, however, agreed with Glatter that “there is a likely chance that a portion of those with clinical disease are caused by other etiologies, such as influenza, tuberculosis.”

US Officials at the Centers for Disease Control have offered to send experts to China to help with that government response, but those offers have so far been rebuffed, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said.

“We’re disappointed that we haven’t been invited in,” Kudlow told reporters at the White House. “We’re a little bit disappointed about the lack of transparency.”

Mike Ryan, who leads the World Health Organization health emergency programs, offered measured support for China’s efforts. He noted that public health officials around the world have been testing patients for the virus. The numbers outside China remain relatively small, he said.

He added that China’s new reporting protocols could be helpful.

“This allows people to get clinical care more quickly and allows public health responses to be initiated,” Ryan said at a news conference Thursday. “I sometimes find it difficult to understand why the assumption to the awful is the one that’s accepted.” (CDC confirms) th US case A person under federal quarantine in Texas has been confirmed as the nation’s th coronavirus case, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The patient arrived in the US on Feb. 7 on a State Department-chartered flight from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak in China. The passengers remain quarantined at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. “The individual is currently isolated and receiving medical care at a designated hospital nearby, “CDC said in a statement.