Wednesday, 26 February, 2020

Glitch delays COVID-19 tests for states as first evacuees cleared

Coronavirus The first person in Maine is being tested for coronavirus. It doesn't mean they have it.
Gustavo Carr | 14 February, 2020, 01:09

US officials are going to test suspected coronavirus cases in five cities, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar announced on Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a federal agency, is working with health departments in the cities, Azar said during a Senate Finance Committee hearing in Washington.

CDC officials said it appeared the two San Diego patients were separately exposed to the virus in China.

On Feb 7 following a conversation with China's president about the outbreak, President Donald Trump tweeted that as the weather becomes warmer the virus will become weaker and die out.

The CDC said it was "likely" there would be additional cases, including among those who were evacuated from Wuhan, which has been under lockdown since January 23.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday said some coronavirus testing kits sent to state laboratories around the country don't work properly.

Coronavirus: British man linked to 11 other cases 'fully recovered'
Coronaviruses are typically found in animals but in rare cases can jump to humans and begin to transmit person-to-person. A welcome to Brighton and Hove sign by the side of the road in Brighton, United Kingdom, on February 11, 2020.

The patient who tested positive was evacuated from Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, and isolated at a hospital near Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

More than 1,100 people have died, almost all of them in China, where there are more than 44,000 confirmed cases.

Travelers arrive to LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal wearing medical masks for protection against the novel coronavirus outbreak in Los Angeles, Calif., on February 2, 2020.

Of the almost 1,000 people who were evacuated from Wuhan, three have tested positive for the virus, including Thursday's case. The delay in diagnosis might contribute to the disease's spread as patients under investigation (PUI) will remain unconfirmed as having the disease. She was returned to the hospital on Monday after testing positive for the virus.

By Tuesday afternoon, the four, and a fifth patient - a child who developed fever aboard the first flight to Travis Feb. 5 - were determined not to have coronavirus symptoms and were returned to Travis to complete their quarantine, Huber said.

Tens of thousands of cases of the illness, known as COVID-19, have been reported globally, the vast majority of them in China. It's responsible for the planning, coordination and conduct of immunization programs in the United States.