Coronavirus in San Diego: 2 patients remain hospitalized, 1 person under observation

Henrietta Strickland
February 14, 2020

A new case of the novel coronavirus has been confirmed among evacuees at a San Diego County, California air base, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

Errors by a hospital in San Diego and the CDC led to the first patient being sent back to base instead of isolation at the hospital, according to a health official familiar with the situation.

The CDC says, "This is the first person under quarantine at JBSA-Lackland who had symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19". A second person that was part of the group tested positive for the virus, the CDC said late Wednesday. Apparently, one of the reagents used in the tests wasn't performing consistently. "During a response like this we know things may not always go as smoothly as we like".

The CDC sent the kits to state laboratories across the country last week.

The first group of Wuhan evacuees completed their 14-day quarantine and were released yesterday to return home, posing no threat to the community, Messonnier said.

So far, airport screening has processed more than 30,000 travelers from China who have passed through 11 airports. The second flight carried 65 people to the base on February 7.

"It's concerning that there is a high number of cases", she said.

"Many questions about the virus remain, and this effort will help see whether there is broader spread than we have been able to detect so far", he added. It hasn't said how numerous kits are flawed, however.

More than 800 Americans and family members evacuated from China aboard State Department-chartered flights since late last month have been placed under quarantine - the first imposed by the CDC in 50 years - at one of five USA military bases in California, Texas and Nebraska, according to the CDC. "The problem was because of differences between San Diego labeling and what the CDC lab accepts, the sample from the woman didn't even reach testing stage so it was true that all samples that were tested were negative, and it was also true that the woman had COVID-19 [coronavirus] because her sample was not tested". Fewer and fewer are coming in from China, especially from Hubei, ' said Dr Messonnier.

After they arrived back at the base, the mistake was discovered and the tests were run on the three Miramar patients.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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