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UC San Diego Health Treating Two People With Coronavirus, Observing Third Patient

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Speaker 1: 00:00 News of a second confirmed case of Corona virus among evacuees at Miramar Naval air station has highlighted concerns from others on the base. The CDC says the second person to test positive for the virus which is known officially as Kovac 19 is one of the U S citizens evacuated from Mohan province in China. The first evacuee to test positive was a woman whose test was initially ms identified as negative. Adding to the confusion surrounding the Corona virus quarantine yesterday, a town hall meeting and a petition from evacuees at the Miramar base asked the CDC for an increase in disease prevention protocols including having all evacuees tested for the virus. Joining me now is KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman who just attended a news conference at UC San Diego medical center on the patients with who've tested positive for the Kovac 19 virus and Matt, welcome to the program. Hello man. Good to be here. Okay, I'm glad you're there. What new information did officials share with you this morning?

Speaker 2: 01:03 So we learned that obviously yesterday we learned that the second coven 19 also called the coronavirus case. What's confirmed here in San Diego. Like you said, it was one of those evacuees from Mohan China, uh, that person, we don't know if it's a male or a female. They now join a woman here and we've got an update on their condition today. Now we were told that one patient is in good condition. We don't know which one is that. And the other patient we're being told is in fair condition. Now both of these people have the Corona virus. When asked to elaborate on fare, they wouldn't elaborate on what fair actually meant. So one person in good condition and it would sound like one person is in a little bit a worser condition.

Speaker 1: 01:39 Did they explain how the patients are being isolated?

Speaker 2: 01:43 Yeah, so we know that I'm here at UC San Diego, Hillcrest and over at Rady children's hospital, they have these rooms that were set up basically to contain people that had the, uh, that had Ebola. And uh, so they're in these special isolation rooms. Now an interesting note that we heard today from UC San Diego, uh, officials that they're expecting more patients to be coming here from the Miramar quarantine. Now we know that the CDC said in a news release yesterday, did they, did they expect that more cases will be identified as well? So it sounds like officials are preparing for more now. We don't have any insight on what exactly that means. But um, she said it's a constantly flowing situation. They're working with the CDC as a liaison.

Speaker 1: 02:19 So the testing of the evacuees is still going on.

Speaker 2: 02:23 Correct. Well, and we know that nine people in total have been taken to um, local hospitals here at UC San Diego, Hillcrest. There are three people, uh, two confirmed in one. They're still waiting on a testing result to come back, but we do know that over at the base at MCA, MCA S Miramar or they are testing people at least two times a day taking their temperature. Um, and we know that here, while they're in isolation, that people that had the virus are being constantly tested as well. All this is new information that they're trying to deliver to the world health organization as we learn more and more about this potentially deadly virus.

Speaker 1: 02:56 Now, as I mentioned evacuees at Miramar concerned about safety protocols there they want an increase in actions to sort of mitigate the spread of the virus if indeed that's what ha what's happening at all. Has there been a response from the CDC to their petition?

Speaker 2: 03:13 Yeah, it's kind of interesting. They had a petition that they, that some members put out saying everyone in the fellowship, the facilities should be tested. Uh, they want to present, they want prevent large gathering of people in certain areas. They want more cleaning to be done. They want more hand sanitizer available. Um, now interestingly enough, I did speak to one person who was inside the quarantine who says, Hey, you know, once this petition came out, it was sort of 50, 50, half of the people were like, what is this? This is ridiculous. The CDC is doing everything they can and the other half saying, Hey, we want more of these protocols. That person did tell me that the CDC is trying to be as, as accommodating as they can. They are putting out more hand sanitizer. They are, if people are requesting it, delivering meals to their rooms to make them feel more comfortable or they are trying to explain to them though according to this person why they don't need to be tested. Because if you're not showing signs, there's no point in doing a test because you don't have the virus. I haven't had a chance to reach out directly to the CDC on this, but it sounds like they're trying to meet some of these quote unquote demands that like I said, not everybody inside is agreeing with.

Speaker 1: 04:08 And what about the incubation period? They're in quarantine for 14 days because we believe that the incubate incubation period is two weeks. Is it longer than that? Have they been looking into that? Did that get addressed at the news conference?

Speaker 2: 04:24 That that wasn't addressed at the news conference today, but the world health organization, uh, that this question was posed to them. Um, and they said that right now they believe that 14 days is the incubation period. Although they are looking, this is a constantly a fluid situation. I mean there's only 14 cases here inside the United States. Only a few hundred, uh, outside of China. So they're trying to gather as much information really as they can. At this point,

Speaker 1: 04:47 I have been speaking with KPBS reporter, Matt Hoffman and Matt. Thank you very much.

Speaker 2: 04:52 Thanks, Maureen.

Two cases of novel coronavirus are being treated at UC San Diego Health and a third patient is under investigation.

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Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.