xi's moments
Home | Americas

CDC confirms 15th case of coronavirus in US

By BELINDA ROBINSON in New York | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-02-15 00:54

Eric Kasowski, quarantine Ashland team lead with the CDC (center), answers question during news conference at University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha on Thursday. NATI HARNIK / AP

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed its 15th case of the coronavirus in the United States as it grapples with how to keep the American public safe.

The latest patient to contract the virus, also called COVID-19, was a part of a group of Americans who were evacuated from Wuhan, China, and put under a federal quarantine at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

Many of the patients under the 14-day quarantine are government employees and their families.

All of the evacuees in Texas are being evaluated at a nearby hospital.

The patient was the first to test positive among the group, which arrived in the US on Feb 7.

"The individual is currently isolated and receiving medical care at a designated hospital nearby," the CDC said.

But the agency warned that there could be more cases among those who had recently returned to the US from China.

At a base in San Diego, California, a second person who was under quarantine at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar tested positive for the virus.

A third person is currently under investigation for the virus, according to Dr Randy Taplitz, the clinical director of infection prevention at UC San Diego Health.

Dr Chris Braden, who heads the CDC office in San Diego, said that the two infected patients arrived on separate planes from Hubei province.

"There is no indication of person-to-person spread of this virus at the quarantine facility," Braden said.

The cases come after another woman from the base, who was infected with the virus, was released due to a labeling error earlier this week and then rehospitalized after officials spotted the mistake.

The US government has flown around 800 of its citizens out of Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus.

At least 195 of those people were released after being given a clean bill of health on Tuesday.

The CDC said that 427 people have been tested for the virus in 41 US states: 347 tested negative, and 66 tests are still pending.

Amid the cases in the US, the CDC said last week that it had sent 200 test kits to laboratories across the US and roughly 200 more to labs in more than 30 other countries — but the kits were faulty.

The kits, which can test around 700 to 800 specimens from patients, were designed to allow individual US states to test for the virus instead of sending samples to CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

But some labs reportedly got back inconclusive results from the tests while they were being used on a trial basis. The tests were not conducted on actual patients.

Kelly Wroblewski, infectious diseases director at the Association of Public Health Laboratories, who is aiding in coordinating the response to the virus, said that the problems with the test were likely caused by a chemical reagent, which was acting unpredictably.

"We are looking into all of these issues to understand what went wrong," said Dr Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "This is really part of a normal process and procedure, and we have the quality control set up specifically to allow us to identify these kinds of problems."

However, the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed that it can test for the virus. It is the first state to be able to run the tests in the US.

CDC Director Dr Robert Redfield told CNN that the CDC was carefully monitoring cases and using containment to stop it from spreading throughout the US.

In New York City, home to the largest Chinese population —more than 570,000 — outside of Asia, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned Thursday against fearmongering and stereotyping of the Chinese community over COVID-19.

There have been no cases of the virus in the city, but some Chinese businesses, particularly in the Flushing section of the borough of Queens, said that trade had slowed over fears of the coronavirus.

De Blasio told a news conference: "In hard times, New Yorkers know to stand by their neighbors. …We're in Flushing today to embrace Asian-American-owned small businesses and say to all New Yorkers: New York City's Chinatowns are open for business."

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349