Coronavirus: New York man, 25, in medical mask passes out on sidewalk sparking panic as death toll rises in US
A video showing a man wearing a face mask passed out on a sidewalk in Queens, New York City, has raised alarms that the incident might be related to the novel coronavirus.
An NYPD police source told UK's Daily Mail how officers responded to the Flushing neighborhood at about 1.30 pm on Tuesday after the 25-year-old man reportedly fainted on Main Street and hit his head on the sidewalk.
The man was subsequently rushed to New York-Presbyterian Queens hospital, the source said, adding that he was expected to survive. However, no other information about his symptoms or condition is known at this time.
At least two confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been reported in New York State thus far, including one female medical worker who recently returned from Iran.
The other man, who is in his 50s and lives in Westchester, allegedly contracted the virus locally through community spread.
That said, the unidentified young man is seen in the footage lying on the sidewalk near the intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue -- an area well known for being one of the largest Chinese ethnic enclaves outside of Asia. Furthermore, it is also one of the busiest transit hubs on the east coast.
The victim is seen crowded by police and bystanders before paramedics arrive and load him onto a stretcher. "I don't know if it is related to the new coronavirus," Yang Zhanqing, who first posted a video of the incident, wrote on Twitter.
Concerns were raised after similar videos from inside of China during the peak of the outbreak showed people collapsing on the streets or lying unconscious and unattended.
This comes as the total number of coronavirus infections in the U.S. reached 120 on Tuesday, with 27 cases reported in Washington alone.
"What is happening now in the United States may be the beginning of what is happening abroad," Dr Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at a press conference. She noted that older and sicker people are about twice as likely to contract the virus and become seriously ill as compared to those who are younger and healthier.
Having said that, most cases of the coronavirus have been mild. The contagion's mortality rate is estimated at 2 to 3 percent.