By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
During the COVID-19 update by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Friday, the Director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Dr Nancy Messonnier said the following:
“I want to start with how we will be reporting our cases of COVID-19 beginning today and going forward. We are making our case counts in two tables. One only tracks people who were repatriated by the State department, and the second tracks all other cases picked up through U.S. public health network.
“We are keeping track of cases resulting from repatriation efforts separately because we don’t believe those numbers accurately represent the picture of what is happening in the community in the United States at this time.
“As of this morning, when you break things up this way, we have 13 U.S. cases versus 21 cases among people who were repatriated. The repatriated cases include 18 passengers from the Diamond Princess and three from the Wuhan repatriation flights.
“Yesterday, nearly all of the remaining people who returned from Wuhan, China, via State department chartered flights, who have been quarantined at four Department of Defense installations across the U.S. have completed their 14-day quarantine.
” I want to be clear that someone who has been released from quarantine is not at risk for spreading the virus to others. Specifically, they are not infected.
“Now, the “Diamond Princess.” 329 U.S. citizens earlier this week returned to the United States aboard two State department chartered flights. So far, 18 have tested positive at CDC. Another 10 were reportedly positive in Japan. 11 are receiving care at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Five are receiving care around Travis. Two are receiving care around Lackland. Because the passengers on the Diamond Princess were in a close setting, where there has been a significant spread of COVID-19, they are considered at high risk for infection. We do expect to see additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the passengers.”
When questioned about expecting additional cases, Messonnier replied, “I guess what we would say is that this was a high-risk situation. Based on what we know about the attack rates and the exposures, we should expect to see additional cases. Some of these passengers are still in what we would consider the incubation period, which we know to be 10 to 14 days. Until we’re through that period, we won’t have a good feel for how many additional cases there are. But I’m — we do think, based on epidemiology and risk assessment, that there may be additional cases.”
She also announced a new case: “The number of cases detected through the recent U.S. surveillance systems has increased to 13. The most recent patient was announced last night by Humboldt County in California. This patient had traveled to mainland China.”
To sum up the total cases–there have been 13 travel-related COVID-19 cases confirmed in the US, plus two cases contracting the virus via person-to-person spread.
In addition, three cases have been confirmed in persons repatriated to the United States from Wuhan, China and 18 from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship.
This brings the total to 36.
In news concerning testing, Messonnier said the CDC is still handling most of the testing. According to a Reuters report Friday, the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) said only three U.S. states currently have the capacity to run tests for the virus locally–California, Nebraska and Illinois.
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