President Donald Trump attempted to calm fears over the potential spread of the Wuhan coronavirus during a national address Wednesday evening, but if he wants Americans to calm down, the first thing he needs to do is take stock of the government’s health agencies and get them on the same page.
While the president was telling everyone that his administration had the situation under control and there is nothing to worry about, health officials and hospital personnel in northern California were identifying someone who had contracted the virus — and who, they believe, had not been in contact with anyone else who has it.
And while that has yet to be confirmed as of this writing, the patient, we are told, was not tested for 11 days, and that was according to protocols issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A Solano County woman now critically ill with coronavirus was hospitalized for 11 days before her infection was revealed to healthcare workers, raising the potential of broader community exposure to the dangerous respiratory disease.
Suffering from flu-like symptoms, the patient brought herself to the 50-bed NorthBay VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville on Feb. 15, according to the Washington Post. She was transferred to UC Davis for advanced care four days later, on Feb. 19.
Health officials at UC-Davis suspected that the patient might be stricken with coronavirus, so they requested she be tested on her arrival. But it would be four days before the CDC tested her; the results were not returned until Feb. 26, according to a UC Davis statement.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, now faced with the potential for community spread of the virus, said that it is vital for the federal government and CDC to expanding testing.
Only, that’s not going to be easy; Newsom said in a press conference Thursday morning that his state only had about 200 coronavirus test kits.
“This is simply inadequate to do the type of testing that is required to address this issue head on,” he said.
“This case marks a turning point,” Dr. Sonia Y. Angell, director of the California Department of Public Health, said at the Thursday briefing. “We are expanding surveillance activity, increasing lab capacity and planning for increased demand on medical systems.”
Trump administration officials said that the government will be expanding the country’s flu surveillance system to try and spot people in the general population who may unknowingly be carrying the virus.
However, California officials said there aren’t any immediate plans to begin testing Solano County residents, where the sick patient lived.
“At this point, the patient’s exposure is unknown,” the CDC said in a statement Thursday. “The case was detected through the U.S. public health system and picked up by astute clinicians.”
The New York Times noted that the agency said while it’s not clear yet how the Solano County patient became infected, it’s possible that she came into contact with an infected person, as officials continue to trace her movements.
“The thing that would immediately make all of us uneasy is if this person had no direct contact with someone who comes from an affected country,” Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, told the paper.
“That would suggest there are other undetected cases out there, and we have already started some low-grade transmission.”
Earlier estimates have said that the virus’ incubation period can be as long as 24 days, as Natural News founder and editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, has reported, citing a study by the the British Medical Journal and Yale:
The study, entitled, “Clinical characteristics of 2019 novel coronavirus infection in China,” is noted as a “preprint” which “has not been peer-reviewed,” but the study notes that incubation periods for the coronavirus vary from zero days to 24 days.
Meanwhile, an anxious nation is becoming even more so, as evidenced by the diving indexes on Wall Street.