US/World

US Citizens Evacuated From China Amid Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

The State Department continues to evacuate U.S. citizens from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, while the total number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in the United States climbed to 12.

U.S. Citizens Evacuated

According to NBC News, the first plane with a total of 201 repatriated Americans landed last week at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, California, after a brief stopover at Anchorage, Alaska, where the passengers had undergone initial health screening. All of the passengers aboard are under federal quarantine orders for 14 days since leaving Wuhan, China, the center of the coronavirus outbreak.

The 178 passengers that arrived overnight at Travis Air Force Base outside Sacramento, California, will also be quarantined for two weeks. Nearly all of the passengers onboard are U.S. citizens, although some of them are immediate family members.

A child aboard the plane was hospitalized with a parent in isolation pending testing for coronavirus after developing a fever during the flight, Staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services and the Administration for Children and Families are at the military bases to assist the passengers.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Respiratory Diseases, said that the passengers "do not pose a threat in the location they'll be held." 

At a news conference at Travis AFB, Dr. Henry Walke, director of the CDC's Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections, 
said that it was a "very emotional experience" to see the passengers arrive after the nearly half-day flight from China.

"There was applause, [the passengers are] glad to be here. They've been through a lot. And because of the unknown nature of this coronavirus, there's uncertainty. And that creates some stress, as well," Walke said.

Several more planes with evacuees from Wuhan are expected to arrive at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska.

Coronavirus Cases In America

The evacuations come while the 12th U.S. novel coronavirus case was confirmed Wednesday, this time in Wisconsin. 

Few details were given by health officials due to privacy concerns. However, more information about the first 11 cases were released Wednesday by the CDC. All of those infected are adults aged over 20 to 60 years old and above, the majority of them are men. Nine of the 11 had traveled to China, with the remaining two having caught the virus from a spouse in the U.S. All of the 11 are doing well, including two who previously needed more intensive care, according to the CDC. 

Although many questions remain about the transmission of coronavirus, it is clear that it can spread from people who have fever, cough and breathing difficulties, among other symptoms. 

Also known as 2019-nCoV, the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 24,000 people worldwide. In response, the World Health Organization announced Wednesday that it is asking the global community for $675 million in aid to help control the spread of the coronavirus.

In a separate statement, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said it is donating up to $100 million "to improve detection, isolation and treatment efforts; protect at-risk populations in Africa and South Asia; and accelerate the development of vaccines, drugs and diagnostics."

Coronavirus The 2019-nCoV, a new type of coronavirus, was first discovered at a small animal and seafood market in the city of Wuhan in China. Pixabay

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