Americans from China arrive as more die worldwide from coronavirus
On Feb. 11, the World Health Organization announced an official name for the coronavirus: COVID-19.
According to news sources including the New York Times, 13 patients arrived in Omaha this week who were stuck on a cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan. Those 13 individuals all tested positive for the virus.
The patients were flown to Eppley and then transferred straight from the plane to passenger busses, which took them to the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC).
They are currently being isolated in the containment unit at UNMC.
UNMC treated three patients with Ebola in 2014 and has experience with treatment, training and quarantine methods for highly infectious diseases.
Another group—57 Americans who were potentially exposed to the coronavirus in China—arrived last week at Eppley Airfield in Omaha after stopping in San Antonio, Texas.
From Eppley, the Americans were taken to Camp Ashland, an Army National Guard facility located on the Platte River between Lincoln and Omaha, due to the concern that they were exposed to the novel coronavirus while in China.
The evacuees went through screenings in a quarantined area as a precautionary measure.
According to Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the individuals may have contracted the virus while in China.
“We expect confirmed infections among these and other returning travelers from the Hubei province,” Messonnier said.
Dr. Eric Kasowski, team leader for the CDC quarantine center in Ashland, said these Americans were living in Wuhan, China, where the virus first broke out.
“We’re taking this action to protect the safety of all Americans; this is part of our aggressive response,” Kasowski said.
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