The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced two new patients now have the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), bringing the case total in the United States to 15.
The 14th case was discovered in California among a group of people under federal quarantine after returning from the Hubei Province in China. That patient was on a U.S. State Department–chartered flight that arrived in the United States on Feb. 7.
The 15th case was discovered in Texas among a group of people who also are under federal quarantine. That patient arrived on a State Department–chartered flight that arrived on Feb. 7. It is the first person in Texas that has tested positive for 2019-nCoV.
CDC said in a statement announcing the Texas case that there “will likely be additional cases in the coming days and weeks, including among other people recently returned from Wuhan.” Officials noted that more than 600 people who have returned as part of State Department–chartered flights are currently under that 14-day quarantine.
The agency is preparing for more widespread cases of 2019-nCoV.
Nancy Messonnier, MD, director of the CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said that containment has been the early focus for the agency.
“The goal of the measures we have taken to date are to slow the introduction and impact of this disease in the United States, but at some point, we are likely to see community spread in the U.S.,” Dr. Messonnier said during a Feb. 12 teleconference with reporters. She added that the federal response will change over time as the virus spreads.
Dr. Messonnier noted that public health officials are planning for the increased demands that a wider outbreak of 2019-nCov would place on the health care delivery system, including ensuring an adequate supply of medical equipment.