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Coronavirus spreads to Wisconsin as hundreds more Americans return to U.S. from outbreak's epicenter

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More Americans evacuated from Wuhan as coronavirus panic intensifies 02:57

Thursday's coronavirus live updates

Health officials in Wisconsin confirmed the state's first case of coronavirus Wednesday, raising the total number of cases in the U.S. to 12. Earlier, hundreds more Americans evacuated from the city at the center of the outbreak landed in California.

The two planes, carrying about 350 people in total, arrived at Travis Air Force Base in Northern California and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in Southern California. All the passengers will spend up to two weeks under quarantine in California while they are monitored for symptoms of the potentially deadly new virus.

As of Wednesday evening the death toll from the virus was at least 564 — virtually all of them in mainland China — with more than 28,000 others infected. 

A medical staff member takes a sample from a person being tested for the new coronavirus at a quarantine zone in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, in China's central Hubei province, February 4, 2020.  STR/AFP/Getty

Taiwan bans international cruise ships

Taiwan has banned international cruise ships from docking, Reuters reported, following news that 10 more patients tested positive for coronavirus on a quarantined ship docked in Japan.

Many of the tourists aboard the quarantined ship spent time in Taiwan when the boat anchored at the island on January 31, according to an immigration authority cited by Reuters.


Ten more people on cruise ship diagnosed with coronavirus

Ten more people were sickened with a new virus aboard one of two quarantined cruise ships with some 5,400 passengers and crew aboard, health officials in Japan said Thursday.
The ships in Japan and Hong Kong are caught up in a global health emergency that seems to worsen by the day.
In the port city of Yokohama, just outside Tokyo, health workers said 10 more people from the Diamond Princess were confirmed ill with the virus, in addition to 10 others who tested positive on Wednesday. The latest infections included four Japanese, two Americans, two Canadians, one New Zealander and one Taiwanese. Most were in their 60s and 70s.
They were dropped off as the ship docked and transferred to nearby hospitals for further testing and treatment.



Four Wuhan evacuees tested for coronavirus

Four of the 167 Americans evacuated from Wuhan, China, to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in Southern California are being tested for the coronavirus, the CDC said Wednesday night. The four people tested had either a fever or a cough. 

"Two adults have been transported to UC San Diego Health, and one adult and a child were transported to Rady Children's Hospital," the CDC said in a statement. 

By Victoria Albert

China announces 73 new deaths, 3,694 new cases

Chinese officials announced 73 new deaths and 3,694 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday. That brings the total number of deaths to at least 564, and the number of confirmed cases to at least 28,248.

By Victoria Albert

China's Hubei province reports 70 new deaths, 2,987 new cases

Officials from China's Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, reported 70 new deaths from the novel coronavirus on Wednesday. That brings the total number of deaths worldwide to at least 561. 

Officials also reported 2,987 cases, bringing the total number of worldwide cases to at least 27,541. 

By Victoria Albert

Americans evacuated from Wuhan, China will be quarantined for 14 days

An official from the CDC on Wednesday described the living conditions for the Americans who recently arrived at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in Southern California on a flight from Wuhan, China. The group will remain in quarantine for 14 days. 

The official said that the quarantined group has a "fairly large area" in which to spend time on the base, and that they're not required to isolate themselves from each other. They are also not required to wear protective gear, including face masks, the official said. 

He added that some of the approximately 170 people quarantined are young children, and some are elderly. 

A second group of Americans also flew in on Wednesday. They are being held at Travis Air Force Base. 

By Victoria Albert

Wisconsin confirms new coronavirus case

Health officials confirmed Wednesday the first case of coronavirus in Wisconsin and the 12th in the U.S. The adult patient, who has a history of traveling to China, has been isolated at home. But state and local health officials would not say where or provide details such as the patient's age.

Officials in Madison, Wisconsin, said the person went to a hospital after arriving at Dane County Regional Airport in Madison on January 30. The person had mild symptoms, including fever, cough and shortness of breath, but is "doing well" and recovering at home, said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, chief medical officer in the state Department of Health Services' Bureau of Communicable Disease.

The person came to the University of Wisconsin Hospital emergency room in Madison to have their symptoms evaluated, said Dr. Nasia Safdar, director of infection control at UW Health. The patient was tested for coronavirus because they had traveled to Beijing, China, for the Chinese New Year, she said.



Americans from China to be quarantined in Nebraska and Texas

Two groups of Americans being evacuated from the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak will be quarantined in Nebraska and Texas, U.S. health officials said Wednesday. The two flights carrying the Americans are expected to land at an airport in Omaha, Nebraska, and a military base in San Antonio on Thursday, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters.

Messonnier said she didn't know exactly how many people would be on the flights. They will be under quarantine for two weeks.

The Americans on the Omaha flight won't enter Eppley Airfield's terminal, Nebraska Medicine health network said in a statement. They will arrive at an isolated aircraft parking area, and they will be taken to a National Guard facility near Ashland, Nebraska, according to the statement.

By Alex Sundby

Baby tests positive for coronavirus 30 hours after birth

A baby in China's epidemic-hit Wuhan city has been diagnosed with the coronavirus just 30 hours after being born, Chinese state media reported Wednesday. The infant is the youngest person recorded as being infected by the virus, which has killed nearly 500 people since emerging late last year.

CCTV quoted experts as saying it may be a case of "vertical transmission", referring to infections passed from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or immediately after. The mother had tested positive for the virus before she gave birth.



WHO chief says "blanket" advice for people to leave China "may not help"

WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus said Wednesday that nations urging their citizens to leave China "may not help" contain the coronavirus centered in that country.

Ghebreyesus stressed that the vast majority of the confirmed cases were still in a single Chinese province, Hubei, "so that blanket approach may not help." He noted that individual governments were taking the precautions they deemed necessary to protect their citizens, but urged them to "make it evidence based... not just a blanket coverage."

"Considering all China, and all provinces are the same could be wrong, and is wrong," he said. "Even in China there are provinces with very few cases."

Dr. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Programme, also called for "calm, well thought out public health measures."

He said the WHO was "doing a systematic evaluation of measures taken by all member states" and would share its assessment of the efficacy of those diverse measures with international partners in a bid to "bring some cohesion and order" to global efforts to control the virus.

By Tucker Reals

WHO chief urges calm, says still possible to control virus outbreak

The head of the World Health Organization sought to calm nerves Wednesday as the death toll and number of infections from the new coronavirus continued to rise. 

"We understand that people are worried and concerned, and rightly so, but this is not a time for fear. This is not a time for panic. It's a time for rational evidence-based action," WHO director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus said during a news briefing from the organization's headquarters in Geneva. "We still have a window of opportunity to bring this outbreak under control."

He noted that 99% of the confirmed cases of the new virus were still in China, and 80% of those are concentrated in the central Hubei province.

"The relatively small number of cases outside China gives us a window of opportunity to prevent this outbreak from becoming a broader global crisis," he said, warning that the biggest threat was the disease reaching countries with poor health care systems, where it might spread more rapidly.

By Tucker Reals

"We have to shut these wild animal markets"

Infectious disease expert Dr. Ian Lipkin, an epidemiologist from Columbia University who is currently advising authorities in China, told CBS News Wednesday that there is a singular problem at the root of this outbreak, and if it isn't addressed, there will be similar viruses cropping up "every couple of years."

The coronavirus sweeping through China is believed to have originated in wild animals, possibly bats, before jumping into the human population, and it may well have made that jump in the close quarters that wild animals share with humans, food and domestic animals at markets like the one in the city of Wuhan.

"I want the wild animal markets closed," Lipkin said bluntly, noting that this new virus is not unique in coming from animals.

"You're talking about HIV, Nipah [virus], Marburg virus, Ebola virus, influenzas, these are all what we call zoonosis; these are infectious agents that originated in wild animals and moved into people. If you take wild animals and you put them into a market with domestic animals or other animals, where there's an opportunity for a virus to jump species, to adapt from a bat to a small mammal-like a rodent or a ferret, and then jump into humans, you are creating a highway — a superhighway for viruses to go from the wild into people. We can't do this anymore. We can't tolerate this anymore."

Coronavirus may have originated from Wuhan market 06:57

Lipkin, who worked with the Chinese during the SARS epidemic in 2003, said he had personally asked "Chinese leaders to show leadership internationally" by cracking down on the markets, which he said exist in other countries, too, in Asia but also in West Africa and South and Central America.

"We have to shut these wild animal markets," Lipkin stressed. "If we don't do that, we will see one of these emerging infectious diseases every couple of years."

By Tucker Reals

U.S. expert says virus "very close" to pandemic level, but he's hopeful

Columbia University epidemiologist Dr. Ian Lipkin is in China advising officials there. He did similar work during the deadly SARS outbreak in 2002-2003, and says Beijing's approach has changed since then. Nevertheless, he says the epidemic in China is "very close" to growing into an international pandemic.

"We're very close. We have infections in multiple countries around the world. If they become sustained, we'll meet the criteria for a pandemic," Lipkin told CBS News correspondent Ramy Inocencio.

He added, however, that the distinction "simply tells you that something is widely distributed, that it's global." He said what really matters is how many infected people actually get seriously sick, and "we really don't know because the data is still coming in."

Lipkin said Chinese officials are taking an assertive approach to control the outbreak, and they seem to have learned from the SARS disaster.

"I've seen an enormously deep commitment to try and contain this — not only for China but also for the rest of the world. There is a very different sense here than there was in 2003," he said. "Everyone realizes that the world is interconnected."

By Tucker Reals

Both U.S. evacuation flights have arrived in California

The second flight evacuating Americans from Wuhan, in central China's Hubei province, arrived Wednesday at Travis Air Force Base in Northern California. It was the third flight chartered by the State Department to bring Americans home from the region at the center of the coronavirus outbreak. The State Department has said an additional flight or flights would be chartered for the same purpose to depart on Thursday from Wuhan - the last evacuations expected to be organized by the U.S. government.

By Tucker Reals

Videos reveal severity of Chinese virus control measures

The latest plane loads of U.S. evacuees fleeing Wuhan, in central China, left behind a life on lockdown, where social media posts show the tough measures Chinese authorities are taking to try and control the disease.

One video shows a woman said to have been arrested in a grocery store for refusing to wear a mask. In another, a woman gets into a fight after reportedly refusing to have her temperature taken by authorities. Other videos claim to show authorities dragging people away after they've exhibited symptoms of the coronavirus.

Beijing has mobilized more than 7,000 tons of supplies for people in the Hubei Wuhan — with the army laying out thousands of empty beds for more patients — but infections in the epicenter are spreading rapidly.

- Ramy Inocencio


2nd U.S. evacuation flight arrives in California

The first of two U.S. government-chartered evacuation flights from Wuhan, China, touched down early Wednesday morning at Travis Air Force Base in Northern California. The second flight due in Wednesday was expected within minutes. Together the planes, chartered by the State Department to get Americans out of the city at the center of the coronavirus outbreak, were carrying about 350 people.

Last week saw the first evacuation charter flight, carrying about 195 people, arrive in California. Those passengers remain quarantined for health checks.

By Tucker Reals

Tokyo Olympics organizers "seriously worried" about impact of virus

Tokyo Olympics organizers on Wednesday said they are increasingly concerned about the disruption the fast-spreading virus in China is causing ahead of the games, which open in just under six months. Chief Executive Officer Toshiro Muto sounded a grave note speaking at a meeting with officials of the International Paralympic Committee.

"I am seriously worried that the spread of the infectious disease could throw cold water on the momentum toward the games," Muto said, speaking in Japanese. "I hope that it will be stamped out as soon as possible."

Saburo Kawabuchi, the mayor of the Athletes Village where 11,000 Olympians will stay, showed his apprehension.

"I truly hope that the infectious disease will die down somehow so that we will be able to operate the Paralympics and Olympics smoothly," he said. "In the worst case — we will do our utmost for the athletes so that they will be able to concentrate on performing their best." 

- Associated Press

By Tucker Reals

Hong Kong to quarantine all travelers from mainland China

Hong Kong announced Wednesday a mandatory two-week quarantine for all travelers from mainland China, in a bid to stop more cases of the deadly new coronavirus. The quarantine order, which will come into force on Saturday, will apply to Hong Kong residents and foreigners, chief executive Carrie Lam told reporters.

Lam gave few other details about how the quarantine would be implemented, such as where and how arrivals would be isolated, but said it was designed to stop them coming.

"The measure is harsh. But I believe after we say all arrivals have to be quarantined for 14 days from February 8 the number of arrivals will reduce," Lam said. "Who would want to enter Hong Kong from the mainland and be quarantined for as long as 14 days? In view of this, we shouldn't have to deal with a large amount of arrivals who need to go through compulsory quarantine." 



Another cruise ship quarantined as crew tested for virus

Thousands of passengers were quarantined Wednesday on another cruise ship, this one docked in Hong Kong, after three recent passengers tested positive for the new coronavirus.

"Our medical staff immediately went on board to do health check-ups," Leung Yiu-hong, an official with the semi-autonomous Chinese city's government health agency told the French news agency AFP. "Unless they have permission from the Department of Health, all passengers and crew members are not allowed to get off."

Members of the Hong Kong Department of Health wearing protective gear line up to clean their hands on the deck of the World Dream cruise ship, docked at the Kai Tak cruise terminal in Hong Kong on February 5, 2020, as health officials conduct inspections amid the coronavirus outbreak in China. PHILIP FONG/AFP/Getty

BBC News said there were about 1,800 people on the World Dream ship, operated by Hong Kong-based Genting Cruise Lines. The ship was denied permission to make a scheduled call Tuesday at Taiwan's Kaohsiung port after three passengers from an earlier trip on the vessel were diagnosed with the new virus.

Leung said more than 30 members of the ship's crew were showing symptoms commonly associated with the new virus — but also typical of cold or flu. They were to undergo tests for the new virus, while the others on board were just to have their temperatures monitored and would be asked to sign health declarations.

A general view shows the World Dream cruise ship, docked at the Kai Tak cruise terminal in Hong Kong on February 5, 2020, as health officials conduct inspections in the wake of the SARS-like virus outbreak across China. ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty
By Tucker Reals

U.S. to charter last flights from Wuhan for Thursday

A State Department official told CBS News on Tuesday that it would charter an additional flight or flights out of the city at the heart of the coronavius outbreak on Thursday, but that those would likely be the final evacuation planes organized by the U.S. government.

The official told CBS News' Christina Ruffini that the State Department was working with other agencies and the Chinese government "to stage one or more additional flights for U.S. citizens to return to the United States from Wuhan."

Seating would be offered to U.S. citizens "on a reimbursable basis," the official said, adding that, "at this time, we do not anticipate staging additional flights beyond those planned to depart February 6.

By Tucker Reals

10 people aboard cruise ship docked in Japan test positive for coronavirus

Ten people aboard a cruise ship docked in Japan have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Japan's health minister said, according to Reuters. That number could rise as screenings of some of the 3,700 quarantined passengers and crew continue. 

The testing comes after Japanese health officials boarded the Diamond Princess cruise ship, moored off Yokohama, on Tuesday after an 80-year-old Hong Kong resident infected with the new coronavirus was confirmed to be among those on board. The man boarded in late January. 

The new cases bring Japan's total to 33, according to Reuters. 


FDA approves use of coronavirus diagnostic test outside CDC headquarters

The FDA announced Tuesday that it has issued an emergency use authorization allowing the diagnostic test for the novel coronavirus to be used at any CDC-qualified lab in the country. Previously, the test had only been conducted at CDC headquarters in Atlanta. 

It was not immediately clear how many laboratories are qualified to perform the test. 

"Since this outbreak first emerged, we've been working closely with our partners across the U.S government and around the globe to expedite the development and availability of critical medical products to help end this outbreak as quickly as possible," FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said in a statement announcing the authorization. "This continues to be an evolving situation and the ability to distribute this diagnostic test to qualified labs is a critical step forward in protecting the public health."

By Victoria Albert

China announces 65 new deaths from novel coronavirus

Chinese officials on Tuesday announced 65 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, bringing the death toll in mainland China to 490 and the overall death toll to 492. Officials also announced 3,387 new confirmed cases, bringing the total in China to 24,324. 

Coronavirus threat spurs mass quarantines around the world 03:22
By Victoria Albert

2nd group of Americans evacuated from China

After an agonizing wait to be evacuated from the coronavirus outbreak zone in China, another planeload of Americans is heading to the U.S. The Americans had been screened before the flight.

"I'm looking forward to giving my mom a hug, I haven't seen her in five years," Priscilla Dickey, one of the Americans, told CBS News.

The flight will land at March Air Reserve Base in California, where the passengers will join the 195 Americans under quarantine who left Wuhan last week.

More State Department flights with evacuees will land at March and four other military air bases. These include Camp Ashland in Nebraska, near a national quarantine center and biocontainment unit.

— Ramy Inocencio

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