The first American rescued from Wuhan confirmed to have coronavirus was mistakenly discharged from hospital after he initially tested negative.
After the patient was airlifted from the locked-down Hubei province, China, last week, they were quarantined with 231 fellow evacuees at the University of California health department, where they will remain for two weeks.
They and three others who were displaying possible signs of infection were bundled into isolation at San Diego hospital for immediate probing – but doctors dismissed the suspected symptoms as a false alarm and released them back to the quarantine compound.
However, on Monday, the city’s health authority announced that further testing revealed that this patient was suffering from coronavirus, marking the 13th case on United States soil.
University of California, San Diego Health said in a statement: ‘CDC officials advised San Diego Public Health that further testing revealed that one of the four patients tested positive.
‘The confirmed positive patient was returned to UC San Diego Health for observation and isolation until cleared by the CDC for release.’
The highly contagious virus has a 14-day incubation period of no visible symptoms where a carrier can still spread infection.
Since the outbreak spawned in Wuhan late last year, it has infected over 42,000 and killed over 1,000 worldwide, the overwhelming majority of which in China.
An evacuee from Wuhan who landed in the US last week was confirmed to have coronavirus in San Diego, California on Monday evening. This photo released by the US Marine Corps shows evacuees from China arriving at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar, in San Diego, California on February 5, 2020
The evacuee in San Diego is being treated at the UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest above). Seven of the US coronavirus cases are in California
The American patient is being treated in isolation at the UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest.
The patient who tested positive is ‘doing well and has minimal symptoms,’ hospital officials confirmed to DailyMail.com.
Last week, two planes arrived at MCAS Miramar with American evacuees from Wuhan, China, escaping the epicenter of the deadly fast-spreading virus.
The first flight carrying 167 Americans landed on Wednesday February 5 and five of those passengers were hospitalized for coronavirus-like symptoms.
A second plane carrying 65 more US citizens landed Friday morning after a stopover in Vancouver, British Columbia.
They were all placed in a 14-day federal quarantine. No one else who is currently under evaluation for coronavirus from the flights that arrived at MCAS Miramar has tested positive, according to the CDC.
At first four patients under evaluation were tested for coronavirus and their results came back negative on Sunday, San Diego Public Health officials said.
Those four patients were then discharged and returned to quarantine.
But on Monday, additional testing confirmed one of those four did in fact contract coronavirus.
Another person quarantined at the base was also isolated at UC San Diego Medical Center for further evaluation on Monday.
Monday’s San Diego case is the first confirmed case in San Diego County since the deadly outbreak began. Seven of the US coronavirus cases are in California.
This map shows the coronavirus epidemic worldwide. The San Diego case marks the 13th US case of the outbreak. Worldwide there have been 1,013 deaths from coronavirus
The new strain of the coronavirus, temporarily dubbed 2019-nCoV, that originated in Wuhan in central China about a month ago has since spread to effect more than 40,000 people around the globe.
Health officials say the illness is capable of spreading before symptoms show and about 20 percent of patients become severely ill. The symptoms include fever, coughing, shortness of breath and can progress to pneumonia and respiratory failure.
By Monday evening the coronavirus death toll topped 1,000 – surpassing the number of deaths counted during the 2003 SARS virus outbreak.
On Monday a slew of new cases were confirmed on a quarantined cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan.
The number of passengers already removed or soon to be removed from the Diamond Princess for treatment in Japanese hospitals stood at 135 Monday, including 23 American passengers. Eleven of those Americans were among the 65 new cases confirmed internationally.
A nurse working in an isolation ward for the novel coronavirus patients in a hospital in Wuhan, China pictured above. On Monday alone China reported 103 deaths in the Hubei province, where Wuhan is located
Now, cases have been confirmed in at least 24 countries, although only two of the confirmed deaths occurred outside China. Those deaths were confirmed in the Philippines and in Hong Kong.
On Monday alone China reported 103 deaths in the Hubei province – the highest toll recorded in any one 24-hour period since the outbreak began in December. Wuhan, the focal point of the disease, is located within the Hubei province.
As of the latest figures, China still has the vast majority of coronavirus cases, with 42,268 and 1,011 deaths.
Of those patients, more than 7,300 are in ‘serious/critical’ condition.
There are now 391 cases outside China with cases of coronavirus
World Health Organization (WHO) experts and scientists finally arrived in China on Monday to help officials there contain and study the outbreak, that’s now struck at least 42,729 people worldwide.
The WHO warned that the more than 40,000 cases already reported by then were likely just ‘the tip of the iceberg,’ as they expect that people with mild or no symptoms have not been diagnosed – yet – leading to an underestimate of total illnesses worldwide.
A map based on data from flight and cell phone data tracking by Southampton University researchers shows how 60,000 out of some 60,000 people who left Wuhan after the coronavirus outbreak began but before the city was locked down have crisscrossed the globe
In its short existence, the corona virus has had vast opportunities to travel far and wide.
A map created by Southampton University researchers shows how 60,000 out of a total of five million people have left Wuhan since the beginning of the outbreak.
The map pulls cell phone tracking data and flight trackers to trace travelers’ paths and shows how the people who left Wuhan have landed in 382 cities elsewhere in China and in countries the world over.
Now leaders in the US and Europe anticipate they’ll see more cases of coronavirus from evacuees who have left Wuhan.
In the US, two of the 13 patients caught coronavirus from their spouses, who were well enough to pass travel screens and display no symptoms on their way back from China, but carried the virus and passed it on to their husbands or wives.
In the hopes of containing the virus, Wuhan was locked down on January 23. City officials closed off all roads in and out, arriving and departing flights were canceled, and public transportation was halted altogether.
Other countries have restricted or banned travel to and from Wuhan and China.
The US is now rerouting all passengers who have been to China within the past two weeks through 11 airports where they will be screened for any evidence they could have contracted coronavirus.
Anyone who’s been to Wuhan in the prior 14 days will be subject to a mandatory federal quarantine – the first of its kind in 50 years in the US – at one of 13 military bases near the 11 airports.