The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed another case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States on Wednesday, bringing the country’s total to 14.
The patient was discovered in San Diego, Calif., at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. The infected individual had returned to America on a State Department chartered flight on Feb. 7, and is now under federal quarantine, according to a press release.
The CDC said anyone who has been in the Hubei Province in Central China over the last two weeks, is considered to be “at high risk” of exposure and must submit to a 14-day quarantine.
This is the second person at this base who has tested positive for the virus, officials said. Both patients arrived at the facility on different flights and were kept in separate areas.
The CDC’s lead on-site physician, Dr. Chris Braden, said it’s unlikely the virus is being spread person-to-person on the base but added that an investigation will be conducted regardless.
“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,” he said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday that it hopes to have a vaccine for the novel coronavirus within 18 months, but until then, countries will have to make do with what they already have.
“The development of vaccines and therapeutics is one important part of the research agenda. But it’s not only one part. They will take time to develop — but in the meantime, we are not defenseless,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a Tuesday press conference. “The first vaccine could be ready in 18 months, so we have to do everything today using the available weapons to fight this virus,”
He also labeled the disease a global threat, despite most of it being relegated to mainland China.
“With 99 percent of cases in China, this remains very much an emergency for that country, but one that holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world,” Tedros explained.
Thus far the disease has killed more than 1,100 people and sickened more than 45,000 others.