US Confirms 13th Case of Coronavirus: An American Evacuated From Chinese City of Wuhan

By Zachary Stieber

An American evacuated from Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China, was released from a hospital in San Diego after a test initially showed the person was not infected, health officials said.

The patient showed symptoms of the virus but was released on Sunday back to the base. New testing showed the patient did, in fact, have the disease—making it the 13th confirmed infection in the United States. The patient was returned to the hospital.

The patient had arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California last week on one of the State Department flights ferrying Americans from Wuhan.

“This morning, CDC officials advised San Diego Public Health that further testing revealed that one of the four patients tested positive for [Novel Coronavirus],” the University of California, San Diego, said in a statement on Monday. “The confirmed positive patient was returned to UC San Diego Health for observation and isolation until cleared by the CDC for release.”

Another evacuee was also sent to the hospital. Tests on that patient were pending. “Both patients are doing well and have minimal symptoms,” the health system said.

A plane carrying evacuees from the virus zone in China
A plane carrying evacuees from the virus zone in China lands at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, Calif., on Feb. 5, 2020. (Gregory Bull/AP Photo)

The new case is the 7th in California. Eleven patients acquired the virus while in Wuhan; the other two were infected by close contact with two of the patients in the United States.

Officials in Riverside County also said Monday that no one among the group of 195 evacuees at March Air Reserve Base has the virus. The group, the first to be evacuated from China, would be allowed to leave on Feb. 12, Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the county’s public health officer, said in a statement.

The patients were held in mandatory quarantine for 14 days.

“People who have not developed symptoms will have successfully completed their quarantine and will be free to leave the base,” Kaiser said in a statement.

Health officials said repeated screenings of the patients showed no signs of the illness. Two of the patients showing symptoms of the virus were retested. Tests returned negative.

A masked woman in a plastic rain coat
A masked woman in a plastic rain coat walks on a street in Beijing on Feb. 11, 2020. (Andy Wong/AP Photo)

U.S. officials at first declined to place the 195 persons under quarantine, but after one tried leaving the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a 14-day quarantine.

Officials in Alaska, where the first evacuation plane refueled before going on to California, said the evacuated Americans cheered when landing.

“They were happy to be here. They were very much cooperative with the questions,” Dr. Christopher Braden, deputy director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, added at a press conference after the group arrived at the base.

Four other planes carrying evacuees landed last week, including the one that dropped evacuees off in San Diego. Another group was quarantined at March Air Reserve Base. One was sent to Nebraska and another to Texas. The group in Nebraska was quarantined at Camp Ashland and the other group was quarantined at Lackland Air Force Base.

Officials said they expected some of the evacuees to test positive for the virus.

From The Epoch Times