February 10 coronavirus news

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1:25 p.m. ET, February 10, 2020

A Hong Kong apartment building was partially evacuated due to possibility virus was transmitted through pipes

From Isaac Yee and Alexandra Lin in Hong Kong

Health officials in Hong Kong are conducting a partial evacuation of residents from an apartment block following possibility that the coronavirus may have been transmitted via the building piping system, Professor KY Yuen said during an impromptu midnight press conference held on Tuesday morning local time.

Health officials have traced at least two confirmed cases of the coronavirus to the specific residential building called Hong Mei House in the Tsing Yi area of Hong Kong.

"As the pipeline that transfers feces is connected to the air pipe, it is very likely for the virus in the feces to be transmitted through the air fan into the toilet," Professor Yuen said. 

Parts of the building were evacuated as a precaution while health officials and engineers carried out emergency checks, he added.

Professor Yuen said that the transmission route is not clear yet, so the evacuation was taken to protect the residents of the building.

This comes as local health officials confirmed that both the 42nd confirmed and latest case in the city and the 12th confirmed patient both lived in Hong Mei House. The 12th case was confirmed on January 30 and the 42nd case was confirmed on February 10. 

 Hong Kong now has 42 confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus.

12:56 p.m. ET, February 10, 2020

2 newly infected people in the UK are health workers

From CNN’s Anastasia Graham-Yooll in London

Two of the latest four coronavirus infections in the UK are healthcare workers, and British authorities are now “working urgently to identify all patients and other healthcare workers who may have come into close contact” with them, Public Health England Medical Director, Yvonne Doyle, said in a statement. 

Here's the full statement:

“As a result of our contact tracing we now know the new cases announced today are all closely linked to one another. Our priority has been to speak to those who have close and sustained contact with confirmed cases, so we can advise them on what they can do to limit the spread of the virus.
Two of these new cases are healthcare workers and as soon as they were identified, we advised them to self-isolate in order to keep patient contact to a minimum. We are now working urgently to identify all patients and other healthcare workers who may have come into close contact, and at this stage we believe this to be a relatively small number. 
We would like thank all those who have followed public health advice and have taken the necessary steps to reduce the risk to the general public.”
1:05 p.m. ET, February 10, 2020

These are the four cruise ships trapped by the coronavirus

With travel advisories across the globe, four cruise ship were put in effective lockdowns over growing concerns of the novel coronavirus. 

Here's what you need to know about each ship:

  • Diamond Princess: Quarantined in Japan since Feb. 4, there are at least 24 Americans among the 135 people infected with the Wuhan coronavirus aboard the cruise ship, according to information from Princess Cruises and a CNN tally.
  • Westerdam: Over 2,000 people are stuck on the Westerdam cruise ship, operated by Holland America, after it was denied entry to its original final destination in Japan. Despite having no confirmed cases aboard, they will dock in Thai city of Laem Chabang on Thursday because Japan and the Philippines closed their docks to cruise ships.
  • World Dream: More than 3,600 people aboard were quarantined for five days in Hong Kong as a precautionary measure after three former passengers tested positive for the coronavirus. No confirmed cases were found.
  • Anthem of the Seas: This Royal Caribbean ship was docked in New Jersey for an extra two days because four returning passengers were sent to the hospital to be tested for the coronavirus. The four family members and 23 other passengers were all cleared of the virus.
1:58 p.m. ET, February 10, 2020

Trump again suggests warm weather could weaken coronavirus

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

Alex Brandon/AP
Alex Brandon/AP

President Trump repeated his belief that a coronavirus outbreak in China could subside when temperatures rise with the changing seasons, despite expert opinion that it’s too early to make such a linkage.

Speaking to US governors at the White House, Trump said the temperature issue arose last week in his telephone conversation with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

“The heat generally speaking kills this kind of virus,” Trump said, citing an assessment Xi offered him over the phone.

“That would be a good thing,” Trump went on.

Earlier, Trump said “a lot of people think that goes away in April, with the heat.”

More on this: Trump first raised his theory about coronavirus and warmer weather in a tweet last week. Afterward, infectious disease experts told CNN that it's too early to say whether warmer temperatures would weaken the virus.

"It would be reckless to assume that things will quiet down in spring and summer," said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.

"We don't really understand the basis of seasonality, and of course we know we absolutely nothing about this particular virus," Hotez said.

"His hope is our hope," said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, referring to Trump's tweets. "But we don't have knowledge that it will do that."

In his remarks at the White House, Trump said China was “doing a good job” containing the coronavirus, even as the disease spreads and the death toll rises.

Yesterday alone, the coronavirus — which originated in Wuhan — killed 97 people. It has killed 910 people globally since the outbreak began, according to authorities. More than 40,000 people have been infected.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has listed 398 people under investigation for the novel coronavirus in 37 states, according to an update posted to the agency's website on Monday. Of them, 12 have tested positive, 318 negative and 68 are still pending. 

Trump touted those numbers on Monday, saying “many of them are in good shape now.”

12:20 p.m. ET, February 10, 2020

There are now 42 confirmed coronavirus cases in Hong Kong

From CNN's Isaac Yee

There are now 42 confirmed cases in Hong Kong, according to The Center for Health Protection.

The latest case and the twelfth case lived in the same building, according to The Center for Health Protection's Dr. Wong Ka Hing.

"We noticed that it’s the Hong-mei Building Unit 7, which is the same building and same unit as a previous case, but they lived on different floors of the building," he said.

He added there are 10 floors between these two apartments.

Hong Kong officials are currently holding a late-night press conference on the coronavirus.

11:41 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

Where the coronavirus cases are throughout China

While coronavirus has spread to more than two dozen countries across the world, the vast majority of cases are in mainland China.

Here's a look at where the cases are throughout mainland China, according to World Health Organization data. These numbers may differ from those reported by Chinese health officials, who report updated totals at different times than the WHO.

11:16 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

Health officials have investigated almost 400 people in the US for coronavirus 

From CNN's Michael Nedelman

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has listed 398 people under investigation for the novel coronavirus in 37 states, according to an update posted to the agency's website on Monday.

Of them, 12 have tested positive, 318 negative and 68 are still pending. 

These numbers are cumulative since Jan. 21 and include people with a travel history to China, as well as those who have been in close contact with confirmed cases or other people under investigation.

Pending cases include specimens that have been received and not yet undergone testing, as well as those in transit to CDC from health authorities in various states.

There are 12 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States. Six cases have been confirmed in California, one in Massachusetts, one in Washington state, one in Arizona, one in Wisconsin and two in Illinois. This includes two instances of known person-to-person transmission, one in Illinois and one in California.

Previously, there were 337 people under investigation in 36 states as of Feb. 6, including 12 positive, 225 negative and 100 pending cases.

11:03 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

US health official explains how travel restrictions may not contain coronavirus

From CNN's Michael Nedelman

The United States’ top infectious disease doctor said that the novel coronavirus is currently under control — "but that could change very quickly," rendering travel restrictions ineffective against the spread of the virus.

"Once you get a diffuse outbreak throughout the world, you're not going to be able to control it by travel restrictions," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN's Jim Sciutto and Poppy Harlow on Monday.  

"You're going to have to do what we call mitigation, or dampen the effect within a country," Fauci added. "Clearly we're not there yet. We still have very few cases. But we need to be alert to the possibility that this will get worse."

Fauci said the coronavirus spreads more easily than SARS but appears to be less severe. The novel coronavirus has killed more people than SARS did in 2002 and 2003 — however, it has infected many more people than SARS did. 

"This particular virus has a much, much greater capability of spreading widely," Fauci said.

About the virus in the US: There are 12 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States. Six cases have been confirmed in California, one in Massachusetts, one in Washington state, one in Arizona, one in Wisconsin and two in Illinois. This includes two instances of known person-to-person transmission, one in Illinois and one in California. 

10:44 a.m. ET, February 10, 2020

The ship delayed in New Jersey after coronavirus scare will set sail again today

From CNN's Chuck Johnson

The Anthem of the Seas cruise ship is seen docked in Bayonne, N.J. on Friday.
The Anthem of the Seas cruise ship is seen docked in Bayonne, N.J. on Friday. Credit: Kevin Hagen/AP

The Anthem of the Seas — the Royal Caribbean cruise ship that was delayed last week after passengers aboard the ship became ill — will take off today at 3 p.m. ET, according to Royal Caribbean. 

The ship will finally set sail after a coronavirus scare kept the ship docked this weekend. 

Royal Caribbean updated their itinerary on Monday to include Bermuda as the only port of call on the trip. 

"With a Monday afternoon departure, we wouldn't arrive into Nassau until around 3 p.m. ET and would need to depart later that evening to make our way back to Cape Liberty, not a great experience. Given that our goal is to provide you with the best vacation possible, we made the decision to sail to Bermuda, where you'll have more than a day and a half in port to explore," Royal Caribbean said in an update. 

The Government of Bermuda says arriving passengers will "apply our own protocols currently in place at all of Bermuda’s points of entry."  

"Arriving travelers will undergo a travel risk assessment by a Health Officer and could have their health monitored and movement on island restricted for up to 14 days," the Government of Bermuda says.