Flight with 195 Americans from Wuhan lands in California for nCoV screening

March Air Reserve Base in California
March Air Reserve Base in California

March Air Reserve Base in California, where the passengers will stay for at least 3 days., Los Angeles District / Flickr cc

Today a chartered flight of 195 Americans living in Wuhan, China, landed in California, where experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) monitored their temperatures and checked passengers for signs of respiratory illness in the wake of the current novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.

"CDC will work with the California Department of Public Health and Riverside County Public Health to transport any passenger exhibiting symptoms to a hospital for further evaluation," the CDC said in a statement. "Passengers not exhibiting symptoms of exposure will be asked to stay on the base in housing to allow CDC medical officers to perform more thorough screening and to better understand each individual's exposure."

The passengers were monitored throughout their journey, including before departure, during the flight, and at a refueling stop in Alaska.

"At this time, we continue to believe the risk of coronavirus exposure to the general public is low," the CDC said. "CDC is taking these measures to assess and care for these returning Americans to protect them, their loved ones, and their communities."

Passengers staying on Air Force base

In a press conference this afternoon, Nancy Messonnier, MD, the CDC’s director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, gave more details on the 195 passengers.

None of the travelers is currently showing any symptoms of illness, and all have voluntarily agreed to stay at March Air Reserve Base in California for at least 72 hours for monitoring.  Messonnier said the passengers will also be tested for 2019-nCoV.

"I hear the people on board cheered loudly when the plane touched down in Anchorage," Messonnier said.

In an update on cases in the United States, Messonnier said there is currently 165 persons under investigation, of which 68 have tested negative for the virus. There are still only five confirmed 2019-nCoV cases in the US.

"There's no sign of broader community transmission in the United States," said Messonnier. "If you have no close contact with confirmed cases, you do not need to be especially concerned."

See also:

Jan 29 CDC media report

CDC 2019-nCoV page

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