Quarantined evacuees petition CDC for better practices after coronavirus mix-up

As of 2 p.m., Feb. 12, there are 45,210 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,118 related deaths. Worldwide, 5,133 people have recovered from the illness.

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

Seven key outbreak updates:

1. Quarantined evacuees in San Diego signed a petition urging the CDC to take further action to prevent the virus' spread, KGTV reports. Evacuees at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar created a petition after a patient with COVID-19 was mistakenly reintroduced to those quarantined. The petition thanks the CDC for its help, but suggests alternatives to mitigate transmission of the virus, such as more testing, improved separation between patients and disinfection of common areas.

Evacuees are quarantined for 14 days, starting the day they left China. On Feb. 5, 167 evacuees arrived at MCAS Miramar, with another 65 evacuees arriving the next day. 

2. A 3-year-old evacuee was readmitted to the hospital after the CDC mix-up, NBC San Diego reports. The girl and her father both showed signs of fever and cough after returning from China Feb. 5. They were taken to the hospital and released three days later, after testing negative for COVID-19. The pair returned to quarantine at MCAS Miramar.

The 3-year-old was readmitted to the hospital Feb. 11 after showing additional symptoms, said Christopher Braden, MD, a CDC spokesperson. He added that the CDC is still confident in the initial negative test results, despite the previous mix-up that led to the release of the patient infected with the nation's 13th COVID-19 case.

3. At least 174 cruise ship passengers are infected with COVID-19, Business Insider reports. More than 3,500 people are quarantined in Japan on the ship, which was scheduled to dock a week ago. The quarantine is expected to last until Feb. 19. The ship is one of two clusters of the virus outside of China, with the other in southern England, CBS News reports.

4. The number of new cases reported in China has declined two days in a row, CBS News reports, though health officials warn that the outbreak could get worse before it gets better.  

5. Coronavirus fears are driving racist sentiment against those of Asian descent, the Los Angeles Times reports. Countless xenophobic and anti-China sentiments have been posted online, drawing on racist tropes that link people from China to disease and filth, experts said.

6. Officials are concerned the virus can spread through pipes, prompting a partial evacuation of residents in a Hong Kong apartment block Feb. 11, CNN reports. Two residents of the Hong Mei House, living 10 floors apart but on the same vertical block, were diagnosed with COVID-19. Three more COVID-19 cases in the building have been confirmed since, all in family members of an initial patient.

7. Experts convened at a WHO conference to discuss the outbreak response Feb. 11-12, according to STAT

More articles on clinical leadership & infection control:
The 15 US hospitals patients are least likely to recommend
45,000+ coronavirus cases may be 'tip of iceberg'; death toll passes 1,100
Hundreds of donor organs lost, delayed in transit since 2014


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