Second Coronavirus Case Confirmed, Third Patient Under Investigation


SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A second person who was under quarantine at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar after being evacuated from Wuhan, China, was confirmed today to have the deadly novel coronavirus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to UC San Diego Health officials, both confirmed patients are in isolation at the hospital, with a third patient under observation because of coronavirus-like symptoms.

All three patients are ``doing well,'' according to hospital officials. UCSD Health officials plan to hold a news conference Thursday to give an update on the patients.

The newly confirmed patient was one of 65 people aboard a State Department-chartered flight from China that arrived at Miramar on Friday, according to the CDC.

The person is the 14th confirmed coronavirus case in the nation, and the eighth in California. Los Angeles and Orange counties both have one confirmed patient.

UCSD Health officials stressed that the medical center is fully equipped to handle the illness, which has now been dubbed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization.

``The safety and well-being of our patients and staff is our top priority. As the region's only academic health system, UC San Diego Health specializes in the care of patients with complex illnesses, including infectious diseases more virulent and deadlier than COVID-19,'' according to the hospital. ``We are taking all necessary measures and precautions to minimize any potential exposures as we care for both potential and confirmed COVID-19 cases. Patients are treated in negative-pressure isolation rooms; health care providers in contact with these patients are trained to use appropriate personal protective equipment, such as gowns, gloves, fit-tested high-filtration respirators and face shields or goggles.''

The first San Diego patient was confirmed with the disease on Monday. She was one of 167 people who were flown to Miramar Feb. 5. She and three other people from the flight were subsequently hospitalized after showing possible symptoms of the disease that has killed more than 1,000 people, mostly in China.

Due to a mixup in labeling of test samples, the four patients were initially mistakenly declared free of the virus and returned to quarantine at Miramar on Sunday. But tests confirmed the next day that the one patient had actually tested positive, and she was returned to the hospital and placed in isolation.

All of the Wuhan-area evacuees who were brought to Miramar last week will be under a mandatory two-week quarantine.

More than 1,000 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported, all but two of them in China. More than 43,000 cases of the illness have been reported worldwide, the vast majority of them in China.

Nearly 200 Americans arrived at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside on Jan. 29 and were quarantined there after being evacuated from Wuhan. That quarantine period ended Tuesday morning, with none of them showing any signs of the disease.

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