By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed Thursday the fifteenth case of novel coronavirus in the U.S., as health officials worldwide scramble to contain the disease's spread.
The latest U.S. case is a patient who was under mandatory 14-day quarantine after returning from China's Hubei province, the new coronavirus' epicenter. The U.S. considers all such individuals to be at "high risk" of having the COVID-19 virus, and instituted the mandatory quarantine period in-line with what officials believe to be the time of incubation for the disease.
The patient is being quarantined at a military base in Texas, and is the first patient there to test positive for the disease.
"The individual is currently isolated and receiving medical care at a designated hospital nearby," the CDC said. It did not identify the individual.
More than 600 people who returned to the U.S. on chartered planes from Wuhan, China remain under quarantine after 195 were discharged Tuesday.
The CDC confirmed Tuesday the fourteenth case of the virus also in a patient who was placed under federal quarantine. The individual was the second to test positive at a military base in California.
"At this time there is no indication of person-to-person spread of this virus at the quarantine facility, but CDC will carry out a thorough contact investigation as part of its current response strategy to detect and contain any cases of infection with this virus,” Dr. Chris Braden, who is leading the CDC's on-site team said at the time.
At least three people have died from the new coronavirus outside mainland China, including one each in Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan. Japan recorded its first death Thursday after the virus was found in an 80-year old woman who had recently died.
She was admitted to a local hospital Feb. 1 after being diagnosed with pneumonia.
Japan has recorded nearly 250 cases of the virus with most of those cases being people on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has been quarantined in Yokohama, south of the capital Tokyo.
The death toll in China surged to 1,362 on Wednesday when 242 deaths were recorded in Hubei. Nearly 60,000 coronavirus cases have been reported nationwide.
The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus a global health emergency.