5 China evacuees isolated at local hospitals after landing at Travis AFB

Local News

(KTXL) — Hundreds more people evacuated from the virus zone in China began arriving Friday at military bases across the U.S. to begin a two-week quarantine.

Early Friday morning, 201 evacuees landed at Travis Air Force Base, with 53 of them staying behind to be placed in quarantine. Now, more than 200 evacuees from China remain quarantined at the base near Fairfield.

Four evacuees on Friday’s flight who showed symptoms of the novel coronavirus were taken to area hospitals in the first phase of testing for the new, deadly virus.

“The CDC has developed an assay to detect the actual virus in a person’s blood, said Dr. Henry Walke with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “A sample is taken from a person and that is sent to the CDC and that’s tested there.”

Only one person who landed at the airbase Wednesday, a young child, was hospitalized with a fever. But by Friday, Dr. Walke said the child had tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

The results for the four other patients are expected back in a couple of days.

Walke told FOX40 those currently under quarantine at Travis AFB will remain under constant supervision with regular checkups.

The doctor added the virus can only be spread by someone who has not only contracted it but is showing symptoms — an incubation period that lasts about five days.

“At this moment, there is no need for the American public to use face masks as they walk around doing their daily activities,” Walke explained. “Very, very low. The risk of transmission is very, very low.”

There were no signs of illness among those who flew into Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, said Dr. Jennifer McQuiston, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control’s division of high consequence pathogens and pathology. She said fewer than 100 people, including babies, will stay at Lackland, she but did not have an exact number.

The plane arrived from the Wuhan region of China, the center of the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

The plane then left Texas and transported people to Omaha, Nebraska, where it landed Friday night. The passengers will be quarantined at a nearby Nebraska National Guard training base.

A military base in San Diego earlier Friday received 65 people who will be quarantined.

CDC officials said another flight carrying more than 160 people arrived Wednesday at the San Diego base. Since then, seven passengers from that flight were hospitalized after showing symptoms of illness. Two of the seven people were later sent back to the base after testing negative for the virus. Test results on the five others are pending.

U.S. officials said at a news conference in Washington on Friday that more than 800 people have been brought to the United States from Wuhan on recent flights. All evacuees are being quarantined for 14 days and monitored for any signs of illness.

The new virus is in the coronavirus family that includes Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, and severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. It causes fever, cough, shortness of breath and, in severe cases, pneumonia. It has sickened more than 31,000 people and killed more than 600, virtually all in China.


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