February 7 coronavirus news

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3:01 p.m. ET, February 7, 2020

Study details how coronavirus can spread in hospitals

A medical worker wearing protective gear waits to take the temperature of people entering Princess Margaret Hospital in Hong Kong on February 4
A medical worker wearing protective gear waits to take the temperature of people entering Princess Margaret Hospital in Hong Kong on February 4 Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

A new study turns a spotlight on the possible risk of hospital-related transmissions of the Wuhan coronavirus.

The study, published in the medical journal JAMA today, involved analyzing data on 138 patients hospitalized with novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia in Wuhan, China. The data showed that hospital-related transmissions of the virus were suspected in about 41% of the patients.

Specifically, 40 health care workers in the study and 17 patients who were already hospitalized for other reasons were presumed to have been infected with the novel coronavirus in the hospital, the data showed, also revealing that 26% of all the patients were admitted to an intensive care unit and 4.3% died. 

The researchers noted that the new study, to their knowledge, might be the largest case series to date of hospitalized patients with novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia — but the study had some limitations.

Hospital-related transmissions of infections "could not be definitively proven but was suspected and presumed based on timing and patterns of exposure to infected patients and subsequent development of infection,” the researchers wrote in the study. 

Among the 138 cases, "most patients are still hospitalized at the time of manuscript submission. Therefore, it is difficult to assess risk factors for poor outcome, and continued observations of the natural history of the disease are needed,” they wrote. 

1:32 p.m. ET, February 7, 2020

Here's a look at who the CDC has investigated for coronavirus

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

About one in six people under investigation for Wuhan coronavirus in the United States have had “close contact” with someone confirmed to have been infected, according to a report released today by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 11% had contact with another person under investigation had not yet been confirmed to have the virus. The majority, about 70%, had only travel-related risk. Of them, most had traveled to Wuhan, versus other parts of China.

The numbers come from 210 people who were under investigation from Jan. 21 to Jan. 31, when CDC updated its guidelines. All of the people were symptomatic — typically with fever and respiratory symptoms — and thus tested for the virus.

Here are some more numbers from the report:

  • Only six people were identified through airport screenings, and 85% were identified in health care settings such as hospital emergency departments. Another 26, or 12%, came from contact tracing.
  • The median age was 29, and 55% were men. People under investigation have included 17 health care workers and at least 48 college students.
  • Most people under investigation have been found to not have the virus. During the period of the new report, only 11 had tested positive.

The CDC says these numbers are likely to change. "Because person-to-person transmission is expected to continue, and as further travel restrictions are implemented, it is likely that the proportion of [people under investigation] with such contact risk in the United States will increase,” the report says.

On Friday, the CDC posted its latest total of people under investigation since January 21: A total of 337 people in 36 states.

This includes 12 who have tested positive, 225 negative and 100 are still pending. 

1:02 p.m. ET, February 7, 2020

Hong Kong confirms 26 cases of coronavirus

A 58-year-old man and a 42-year-old man are the latest people to contract coronavirus in Hong Kong, bringing the total to 26 confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. local Friday, according to the Department of Health.

The 58-year-old is in serious condition. According to the patient's information, he was traveling back and forth for work from Macao to his home in Zhuhai during the incubation period and then resided with a friend in Hong Kong. As a precaution, quarantine is being arranged for the friend who is asymptomatic.

The 42-year-old is in stable condition. He had flown to Hebei Province and visited Macao before returning to Hong Kong. A domestic worker who resided with him presented symptoms and will be sent to Prince of Wales Hospital and a quarantine is being arranged for his friend who lived with him but is asymptomatic.

12:22 p.m. ET, February 7, 2020

Both Illinois coronavirus patients discharged from hospital

Two coronavirus patients who were being treated in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, have been discharged from the hospital, AMITA Health St. Alexius Medical Center spokesman Timothy Nelson tells CNN.

They are now in isolation at their home.

The patients, a husband and wife in their 60s, were allowed back at their home last night under guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health, according to the hospital. 

“With it being an uncomfortable situation, the care and the services we’ve received have been great. Everyone’s been very kind and very respectful,” the patients said in a statement provided by the hospital. “This has been the best healthcare experience we’ve ever had, but we’re definitely looking forward to getting home and getting life back to normal.” 

About the patients: The woman was Illinois’ first confirmed travel-associated case and was diagnosed after returning from Wuhan, China, where the outbreak originated. The husband, who did not travel to China, was the first confirmed case of person-to-person transmission of the virus in the United States, according the CDC.

12:22 p.m. ET, February 7, 2020

Trump says he isn't concerned about China covering up coronavirus

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump said he isn’t concerned that China is covering up the full extent of the Wuhan coronavirus, adding that he had a “great conversation” yesterday with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“Are you concerned that China is covering up the full extent of the coronavirus?” a reporter asked Trump on the White House south lawn today.

Here's how he replied:

"No, China’s working very hard. Late last night I had a very good talk with President Xi and mostly we talked about the coronavirus. They’re working really hard and I think they’re doing a very professional job. They’re in touch with … (the World Health Organization), CDC also."
11:59 a.m. ET, February 7, 2020

Ship docked in New Jersey will delay its next trip

Anthem of the Seas docked at the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, New Jersey, on Friday.
Anthem of the Seas docked at the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, New Jersey, on Friday. Kevin Hagen/AP

Royal Caribbean says it will delay one of its cruise ship's next departure by one day following a coronavirus scare on the boat.

The company said that its ship "Anthem of the Seas" will not depart until Saturday when they expect to "receive conclusive test results from CDC" for four passengers who were taken to the hospital Friday to be tested for coronavirus.

More context: A cruise ship docked this morning near New York City as some passengers have a history of travel to China. Twenty-three passengers were cleared, and four are being evaluated at an area hospital after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention boarded the cruise ship to evaluate the situation.

Here's the statement from Royal Caribbean:

We appreciate the CDC’s abundance of caution and their partnership. We understand CDC intends to test samples from four guests for coronavirus. None of the four guests showed any clinical signs or symptoms of coronavirus while they were onboard our ship. One had tested positive onboard for Influenza A. Our records indicate the guests had not been in China since January 26 — 14 days ago. All other guests have been permitted to disembark as usual. We have also been cleared by authorities to depart on our next cruise as usual. However, to reassure concerned guests, we will delay our departure until tomorrow, when we expect to receive conclusive test results from CDC.

11:52 a.m. ET, February 7, 2020

Health official: "A lot of people are wearing masks that don't need them"

Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images
Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has warned of a global "chronic shortage" of equipment that could shield individuals from coronavirus — like masks and gloves.

Following this news, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reminded people that most of them don't need to be wearing masks.

"A lot of people are wearing masks that don't need them," he told CNN. "A lot of people feel that they need to be wearing masks, even though, unless you're right in the middle of a situation where's a lot of people coughing and sneezing — that really we don't recommend routinely, that people wear masks."

He noted that health care workers — especially those treating patients in China — are the ones who need the equipment.

"The situation of a health care provider needing personal protective equipment is another more serious issue than masks for everybody," he said.

Health officials have urged people in the US to take the usual precautions they would during cold and flu season. That includes washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

If you're the one feeling sick, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and disinfect the objects and surfaces you touch.

Read more about how to protect yourself from coronavirus — as well as colds and flus — here.

11:31 a.m. ET, February 7, 2020

Cruise ship in Japan has the most coronavirus cases outside China

The Diamond Princess cruise ship is seen docked at Yokohama Port on Friday.
The Diamond Princess cruise ship is seen docked at Yokohama Port on Friday. Credit: Sadayuki Goto/Kyodo News/AP

At least 61 passengers aboard a cruise ship in Japan have been infected with the coronavirus, making it the single highest concentration of coronavirus cases outside of mainland China in the whole world.

CNN's Will Ripley spoke to some of the passengers aboard the ship who "sounded downright scared."

The number of cases on the ship tripled overnight from 20 to 61, Ripley reported. 

What we know about this ship: The Diamond Princess is anchored off the coast of Yokohama, near Tokyo, with 1,045 crew and 2,666 passengers — including 428 Americans — on board. The vessel has been quarantined since Tuesday, and passengers are expected to remain under quarantine for at least 14 days — so roughly 11 more days.

This ship is one of three cruise ships in Asia have had their travels disrupted during the coronavirus outbreak. Two of the vessels are docked in Japan and Hong Kong and under quarantine as officials try to slow the spreading of the virus. A third ship in the East China Sea has been unable to dock because of outbreak fears.

11:21 a.m. ET, February 7, 2020

What we know so far about the coronavirus outbreak

Workers in protective gear are seen near the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan on Friday.
Workers in protective gear are seen near the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan on Friday. Credit: Toru Hanai/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The death toll and number of people infected by the Wuhan coronavirus continues to grow, with no signs of slowing despite severe quarantine and population control methods in China.

Here's where things stand this morning:

  • How many cases have there been? Around the world, there have been 31,482 confirmed cases; 31,161 of those cases have been in mainland China.
  • How many deaths have there been? At least 638 people have died, and all but two of them have been in China. One person in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines have also died.
  • In New Jersey: A cruise ship docked this morning near New York City as some passengers have a history of travel to China. Twenty-three passengers were cleared, and four are being evaluated at an area hospital after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention boarded the cruise ship to evaluate the situation.
  • Other cruise ships in Asia: Two of the vessels are docked in Japan and Hong Kong and under quarantine as officials try to slow the spreading of the virus. A third ship in the East China Sea has been unable to dock because of outbreak fears