SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Two coronavirus patients from another county were transferred Monday to a San Francisco hospital for treatment, San Francisco health officials have announced.
No other information about the two patients was released, but the San Francisco announcement came just hours after San Benito County health officials said a couple who were infected with the illness had been transferred to a facility out of their county.
“It was then determined that both patients needed to be admitted to a hospital equipped for a higher level of care,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, San Benito County Health Officer. “The patients have been transferred out of San Benito County by specialty ambulance.”
Fenstersheib said the patients showed worsening symptoms late Sunday night and required hospitalization.
University of California San Francisco released a statement Monday afternoon saying UCSF Health received the two patients with confirmed novel coronavirus, but would not identify which of its campuses out of privacy concerns.
On Sunday, San Benito health officials said their two cases involved a 57-year-old husband and wife. The husband traveled on January 24 from Wuhan — the epicenter of the outbreak — and the wife did not. Doctors have determined it was a case of person-to-person transmission.
The couple had been under home isolation and being closely monitored.
So far nationwide there have been 11 confirmed cases of coronavirus — six of those cases have been in California. A second case was confirmed on Sunday in Santa Clara County, two in San Benito County and two in Southern California. All the cases appear to be traceable to travel from Wuhan.
The Centers for Disease Control said Monday that the U.S. State Department planned another airlift of U.S. citizens from China. The last flight landed in Southern California, but officials on Sunday said Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield may also soon be serving as a landing spot and quarantine area for those travelers. Currently, passengers arriving on the special flights are being required to remain in quarantine for 14 days.
The head of the World Health Organization said Monday in Geneva that it was working with Google to ensure that searches about the new virus turned up information from the U.N. health agency first, part of efforts to fight “rumors and misinformation” about the outbreak.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the opening of WHO’s executive board meeting that social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Tencent and TikTok “have also taken steps to limit the spread of misinformation.”
On Sunday, Santa Clara officials announced their second confirmed case of the illness. They said their two patients were not related and had not been in contact with each other. Both have recently traveled to or from Wuhan.
The new patient, health officials said, was a visitor who arrived from China on Jan. 23. She has stayed home since she arrived, except for two times to seek outpatient medical care. She has been regularly monitored and was never sick enough to be hospitalized
Her family members have also been isolated, which means that they do not leave the house, even to buy groceries. The Public Health Department has been providing the family with food and other necessary items.
“I understand that people are concerned but, based on what we know today, the risk to the general public remains low,” said Dr. Sara Cody, health officer with the county of Santa Clara.
“A second case is not unexpected. With our large population and the amount of travel to China for both personal and business reasons, we will likely see more cases, including close contacts to our cases,” Dr. Cody said.
The first case in the Bay Area was a man who traveled to Wuhan and Shanghai before returning Jan. 24 to California, where he became ill, Cody said Friday.
The man was never sick enough to be hospitalized and “self-isolated” by staying home, she said.
The man left home twice to seek outpatient care at a local clinic and a hospital. Public health officials are now trying to reach anyone he may have come into contact with during those times to assess whether they were exposed to the virus.
Those people, along with the few members of his household, will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine.