CDC Confirms a Single Coronavirus Case in San Antonio

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Lackland Air Force Base
Officials from the Centers for Disease Control said Thursday the agency has confirmed a single case of the novel coronavirus in San Antonio.

CDC diagnosed the disease in a person quarantined at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. According to federal officials, 91 people — all recently returned from areas around Wuhan, China, where the virus originated — are quarantined at the base.

The patient is now isolated and receiving medical care at a designated hospital nearby. The diagnosis brings the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States to 15.

During a news conference, city, state and federal officials told reporters that the patient, a solo traveler, was taken to a local hospital in a special ambulance designed for infectious disease transport. The person is being treated in a room that doesn't allow air to circulate back into the hospital.

"The emergency preparedness has gone exactly according to plan,"  Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.

Citing safety concerns for the patient, officials wouldn't reveal details about the person's identity or hospital location.

CDC Capt. Jennifer McQuiston said the people quarantined at Lackland have U.S. ties, such as marriages to American citizens. She urged residents to show compassion to them.  

"We're Americans: we get our people out, we take care of them," she said. "That's what's at the heart of this mission."

Individual quarantined at Lackland undergo checks for the virus twice a day. They are largely confined to their rooms to prevent a possible spread of the disease. The two-week quarantine is expected to end February 20.

Local health officials said they are also in frequent contact with self-quarantined individuals who traveled back to San Antonio from parts of China outside of the province where the virus originated.

The Current will continue to update this story as more news breaks.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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