14 new US coronavirus cases; patients with flu symptoms will be tested in 5 US cities

The U.S. has reported 14 new coronavirus cases, bringing the nation's total to 29 cases. As of 10 a.m., Feb. 17, the coronavirus has sickened 71,902 globally and has resulted in 1,775 deaths.

The World Health Organization officially named the disease caused by the new Chinese coronavirus "COVID-19" Feb. 11. 

1. Fourteen U.S. evacuees from a quarantined cruise ship in Japan tested positive for COVID-19, CNN reports. Officials were notified of the cases while evacuating more than 300 passengers from Carnival's Diamond Princess ship Feb. 16, after passengers had already left the ship.  

"After consultation with HHS officials, including experts from the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the State Department made the decision to allow the 14 individuals, who were in isolation, separated from other passengers, and continued to be asymptomatic, to remain on the aircraft to complete the evacuation process," according to a statement from the agencies cited by CNN. 

One flight arrived at Fairfield, Calif.-based Travis Air Force Base and a second at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas. 

2. An abrupt change to the U.S. government's evacuation plan for Americans aboard the ship sparked controversy, according to CNN and CBS. About 3,600 people have been quarantined on the Diamond Princess since Feb. 3, a lockdown set to end Feb. 19. However, U.S. officials sent notice Feb. 15 of plans to evacuate nearly 400 Americans, with another 14 days of mandatory quarantine beginning in the U.S. Passengers choosing not to get on the flight would have to stay in Japan another 14 days to ensure they were symptom-free, prompting anger from some passengers. 

Those who have tested positive for the virus or are showing symptoms weren't allowed to board the evacuation flight. At least 40 infected American passengers are to be treated at hospitals in Japan, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CBS.

3. China's President Xi Jinping knew the severity of coronavirus two weeks before publicly disclosing the information, according to a timeline detailing his actions to fight the coronavirus published Feb. 16 and cited by USA Today. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, has praised China's efforts to combat the outbreak.  

4. France reported the first patient death outside Asia Feb. 15, ABC News reports.   

5. Patients with flu-like symptoms will be tested for COVID-19 in five U.S. cities, the CDC announced Feb. 14. Only patients who test negative for the flu will be tested. Testing is initially scheduled for implementation in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle, and more cities are expected to be added. 

6. The FDA is working to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak, both nationally and globally, it announced Feb. 14. Efforts include surveilling the medical product supply chain for potential shortages and overseeing product safety for infected patients.

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Fourteen U.S. evacuees from a quarantined cruise ship in Japan tested positive for COVID-19, CNN reports. Officials were notified of the cases while evacuating more than 300 passengers from Carnival's Diamond Princess ship Feb. 16, after passengers had already left the ship.

"After consultation with HHS officials, including experts from the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the State Department made the decision to allow the 14 individuals, who were in isolation, separated from other passengers, and continued to be asymptomatic, to remain on the aircraft to complete the evacuation process," according to a statement from the agencies cited by CNN.

One flight arrived at Fairfield, Calif.-based Travis Air Force Base and a second at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas.

An abrupt change to the U.S. government's evacuation plan for Americans aboard the ship sparked controversy, according to CNN and CBS. About 3,600 people have been quarantined on the Diamond Princess since Feb. 3, a lockdown set to end Feb. 19. However, U.S. officials sent notice Feb. 15 of plans to evacuate nearly 400 Americans, with another 14 days of mandatory quarantine beginning in the U.S. Passengers choosing not to get on the flight would have to stay in Japan another 14 days to ensure they were symptom-free, prompting anger from some passengers.

Those who have tested positive for the virus or are showing symptoms weren't allowed to board the evacuation flight. At least 40 infected American passengers are to be treated at hospitals in Japan, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CBS.

China's President Xi Jinping knew the severity of coronavirus two weeks before publicly disclosing the information, according to a timeline detailing his actions to fight the coronavirus published Feb. 16 and cited by USA Today. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, has praised China's efforts to combat the outbreak.

France reported the first patient death outside Asia Feb. 15, ABC News reports.

Patients with flu-like symptoms will be tested for COVID-19 in five U.S. cities, the CDC announced Feb. 14. Only patients who test negative for the flu will be tested. Testing is initially scheduled for implementation in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle, and more cities are expected to be added.

The FDA is working to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak, both nationally and globally, it announced Feb. 14. Efforts include surveilling the medical product supply chain for potential shortages and overseeing product safety for infected patients.

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