ORLANDO, Fla. – Thursday marks one year since the pandemic first officially hit the US.
On Jan. 21, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in a man in Washington state.
The man returned from Seattle from Wuhan, China on Jan. 15 and began experiencing symptoms, according to the CDC. He sought medical treatment on Jan. 19.
At that time, it was reported that the virus had infected more than 300 people and killed six after outbreaks in China, Thailand, South Korea and Japan.
It took only three days before the second US case was confirmed in Chicago. It was a woman in her 60s who had just returned from a trip to China.
It would be more than a month after those first cases before we would see the presence of the virus announced in Florida by Gov. Ron DeSantis on March 1. One case involved a 29-year-old Tampa woman who had just traveled to Italy. The other was a man in his 60s from Manatee County.
The first deaths in Florida were reported less than a week later March 5. One was in Santa Rosa County, the other was in Lee County.
Since then, Florida has seen more than 1.6 million cases of the disease and more than 24,000 deaths.
Over the last year, doctors and public health experts have learned a lot about the virus and its treatment. Doctors have seen success with anti-body treatments, convalescent plasma and drug treatments such as remdesivir.
There are also now two vaccines approved for use by federal regulators with two more expected to be evaluated in the coming weeks.