The patient, an American citizen, had been evacuated from Hubei province, the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak, last week. At the direction of the State Department, hundreds of Americans are being removed from China during the outbreak and taken to military bases in the U.S., where they are put under a 14-day quarantine.
This patient had landed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, in San Diego, and was hospitalized along with three others from the flight at the UC San Diego Health after showing symptoms of coronavirus, the hospital said in a press release. Initial tests for coronavirus came up negative for the patient, and they were released back to the military base for the rest of their quarantine with others on the flight.
But further testing by the Centers for Disease Control found that the patient did have coronavirus, and they had to be sent back to the hospital for treatment.
According to UC San Diego Health, another patient was also brought to the hospital during this time, and “both patients are doing well and have minimal symptoms.”
This is now the 13th confirmed case of coronavirus in the U.S., and the seventh in California. The other five cases occurred in Seattle; Phoenix; Madison, Wisconsin; Chicago and Boston.
The CDC is emphasizing that Americans should not panic — they say the risk of contracting coronavirus is still “low,” with relatively few cases in the U.S.
Worldwide, there are now 43,141 confirmed cases of this new coronavirus, with the majority — 42,670 — occurring in mainland China. As of Feb. 11, 1,018 people have died from the respiratory illness. Most deaths occurred in people over 60 with preexisting conditions, and all but two were in mainland China.
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In the U.S., experts say that Americans should be “more concerned” about the seasonal flu than this coronavirus. But to avoid both illnesses, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC advises basic hygiene practices.
“Our guidance is that at this time of year, the best things you can do are the things that we generally recommend at this time of year to prevent the spread of infectious diseases,” Messionnier said. “Wash your hands, cover your cough, take care of yourself, and keep alert to the information that we’re providing, because we’ll provide new information as it becomes available.”