A fifth patient was removed from quarantine at MCAS Miramar and placed in isolation at UC San Diego hospital for further coronavirus testing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed Thursday.
Four patients were placed in isolation Wednesday once they got off of a plane carrying 167 American evacuees from Wuhan, China. The other 162 passengers remain in quarantine at the military base.
Representatives from UC San Diego Health and Rady Children's Hospital held a press conference Thursday afternoon to provide updates on the first four patients placed in isolation.
A father and his 3-year-old daughter were taken to Rady upon landing at MCAS Miramar. The ages of the other two patients were not released, but the CDC confirmed the fifth patient who was isolated Thursday is an adult.
“We have a beautiful 4-year-old girl and her father, both of whom are asymptomatic, but dad has a cough. He’s absolutely fine-appearing and he asked me to share with you that he’s doing really well., But, they’re in isolation and as I went into the room this morning, I put on the isolation gowns, not more than you would do for influenza, I want you to know, and they’re both just fine," said Dr. John Bradley, medical director, infectious diseases at Rady Children's Hospital.
All four patients are "doing well and they are stable," according to the hospital representatives.
Upon arrival, 167 passengers disembarked the plane contracted by the U.S. government and were evaluated by doctors with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), at which point the four passengers were sent to hospitals for further evaluation.
The hospital representatives added that the patients were brought to the hospitals as a precaution due to the facilities available such as isolation rooms and medical professionals, on hand, to treat patients.
If you're a patient at one of the hospitals, or may need to come to either Rady Children's Hospital or UC San Diego Medical Center, the representatives said not to worry.
The four passengers had either a cough or fever that warranted further evaluation, according to CDC spokesperson Thomas Skinner.
Frank Wucinski told NBC 7 he believed he and his daughter were sent to the hospital because they knew someone sick with coronavirus in China. Wucinski said toys and art supplies were provided to his 3-year-old daughter, Annabel, while they remained isolated.
The remaining passengers were to be quarantined at the base for up to 14 days under the supervision of the CDC. The CDC does not believe they pose a risk but are taking precautionary measures.
“Medical personnel has been screening the passengers every step of the way,” said Dr. Christopher Braden, lead for the Health and Human Services, CDC team at MCAS Miramar.
“Based on our experience with other coronaviruses, we don’t believe these individuals pose a risk to the community because we are doing all that we can to take the measures to minimize any potential exposures,” said Dr. Christopher Braden of the CDC's prevention team at MCAS Miramar.
The quarantined passengers are being screened twice a day and are fed three times per day, Skinner said. Quarantined individuals are not confined to a room and are free to leave the facility but not the quarantine area itself, which is fenced and guarded by U.S. Marshals.
There is a playground with basketball hoops within the quarantine area, and books and board games are also being offered, Skinner said.
A second plane landed Wednesday at Travis Air Force Base, where and additional about 180 passengers would remain quarantined under similar conditions. Nearly 200 Americans were already being quarantined at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside.
Two more flights with about 500 more passengers are expected to leave Wuhan by Thursday.
MCAS Miramar confirmed Thursday that another flight will be coming to the base on Friday. The base made room for a little more than 300 people, meaning the quarantine area is a little more than half full, Skinner said.
The Pentagon chose four U.S. military bases to accommodate nearly 1,000 American passengers evacuating China. MCAS Miramar in San Diego and Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield were among them. The other two selected are the 168th Regiment Regional Training Institute in Fort Carson, Colorado and Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas.