The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is preparing for the new coronavirus, which has killed at least 1,115 and sickened more than 45,000 worldwide, to “take a foothold in the U.S.” Health officials have confirmed 13 U.S. cases of the virus, now named COVID-19, short for Corona Virus Disease. They are awaiting test results of 61 additional test subjects. A total of 420 people in the US have been investigated for possible infection with 347 testing negative.
Since mid January, the CDC has monitored more than 30,000 travelers coming to the U.S. from China. They have not detected any cases from returning travelers. Health officials are asking the travelers to monitor their own symptoms and limit their outdoor activities. A mistake at a lab led U.S. health officials to release an infected coronavirus patient from a San Diego hospital. The patient had been evacuated from Wuhan. The CDC said there are new measures in place to make sure it does not happen again.
World Health Organization officials have said they are worried about the virus mutating. The coronavirus produces mild cold symptoms in about 80% of patients. About 15% of the people who contract the virus have ended up with pneumonia, with 3% to 5% of all patients needing intensive care.
The city of Wuhan, where the outbreak originated, has ordered residents to report their body temperature daily, and the large port city of Tianjin said it would restrict residents’ movement, part of steps across the country to stop the coronavirus outbreak from spreading. The city is conducting door-to-door inspections as well, and will send someone to check on people displaying a fever, according to a notice posted by the provincial government. People with symptoms will be sent to a community health center for evaluation.
In Beijing, the Chinese government voiced anger as countries placed more restrictions on travelers. More than 50 countries or territories have imposed travel restrictions and tightened visa requirements to contain the spread of coronavirus, according to the International Air Transport Association. The U.S. government has continued to charter evacuation flights for US Nationals departing Wuhan, China. All evacuees spend a mandatory two weeks under quarantine while they’re monitored for symptoms of the flu-like virus.
A cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, is still under quarantine after a former passenger, who disembarked in Hong Kong last month, tested positive for the virus. The ship, which is currently off Japan’s coast, now has 174 confirmed cases of coronavirus as the virus spreads. There are more than 3,700 passengers and crew on the ship under quarantine.