US health officials are testing 12 patients across the country for the deadly coronavirus that has been spreading worldwide.

This includes two students, one at Texas A&M University, who had traveled from Wuhan, China – where the virus originated – and another student at Tennessee Tech University.

Several people in California, particlarly in Alameda County and the Bay Area, are also being examined to see if they have the virus that resembles SARS.

So far, 894 people people have fallen ill since December, mostly in China. As of Friday, 26 people have died. 

It comes on the heels of doctors revealing 43 people came into contact with US patient zero who is being quarantined in Washington state.

Additionally, the US announced it is pulling most of its diplomats and their families from the consulate general in Wuhan and the State Department issued its strongest travel advisory warning of Level 4: Do Not Travel reserved for countries such as North Korea and Iran.

And a report written by researchers from England, Scotland and Florida and shared with DailyMail.com has predicted that as many as 350,000 people may be infected just in Wuhan by the beginning of February.

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US health officials are testing 12 patients across the country for the new, mysterious coronavirus that has been spreading across the globe. Pictured: Travelers with masks at LAX

US health officials are testing 12 patients across the country for the new, mysterious coronavirus that has been spreading across the globe. Pictured: Travelers with masks at LAX

One person being tested is a male student at Texas A&M University (pictured), who traveled to Wuhan, where the virus originated

One person being tested is a male student at Texas A&M University (pictured), who traveled to Wuhan, where the virus originated

Another being tested is a student at Tennessee Tech University (pictured) who had a 'concerning' travel history, health officials said

Another being tested is a student at Tennessee Tech University (pictured) who had a ‘concerning’ travel history, health officials said 

Health officials are testing ‘a number of cases’ in California as well as 43 people who came into contact with the case in Washington state

Brazos County Health District officials said that the Texas A&M student had ‘mild’ symptoms that resembled the coronavirus.

Results of tests will be announced to the public if the patient tests positive for coronavirus.

Officials said the patient is currently being kept isolated at home and that it is safe for student to attend classes. 

‘This patient did travel to the area of concern in China within the last 14 days and thankfully had mild upper respiratory symptoms, and he was improving,’ said Dr Eric Wilke with the Brazos County Health Department.

‘I believe the time the patient presented at the emergency department, it was more out of concern,’ said Dr. Eric Wilke with the Brazos County Health Department. 

WHEN ARE PATIENTS  CONTAGIOUS? 

CDC officials are not 100 percent clear on when coronavirus patients are contagious but have said they suspect an incubation period of two to 14 days from exposure. 

Officials have warned that patients are most contagious after they begin showing symptoms but the disease can spread at a ‘much lower rate’ when asymptomatic.  

In the case of the Washington state man, experts say he was unlikely to have transmitted the disease to anyone because he sought treatment immediately after showing symptoms. 

Meanwhile, the Tennessee Department of Health said they decided to test the student because had ‘very mild symptoms’ and had a recent concerning travel history that met the criteria for testing.

No results have been confirmed and the student is being kept in isolation. 

Los Angeles International Airport was also on high alert after a passenger who arrived on Wednesday was sent to hospital after he or she appeared to be ill.

The unnamed passenger arrived on an American Airlines flight from Mexico City around 7pm, reported CBS Los Angeles.

However, it remains unclear if the passenger is from Mexico City, or if they originated from another city. 

The patient being treated in Washington state is also being kept in quarantine at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, outside of Seattle.

 

First reported in China in December 2019, the strain, known as 2019-nCov, is believed to have emerged from illegally traded wildlife at a seafood market in Wuhan, a city 700 miles south of the capital of Beijing.

While preliminary research suggests the virus was passed to humans from snakes, Chinese health officials reported this week that some cases have been caused by human-to-human transmission increasing the risk of it spreading.

Arriving passengers from Asia, airline staff and airport staff at the Los Angeles International Airport take precautionary measures donning face masks

Arriving passengers from Asia, airline staff and airport staff at the Los Angeles International Airport take precautionary measures donning face masks 

So far, there are at least 850 cases confirmed worldwide, reaching as far as the US

So far, there are at least 850 cases confirmed worldwide, reaching as far as the US 

Experts say the difficulty of containing the coronavirus is that so many patients have mild, cold-like symptoms and don't realize they have the infection – but it can quickly turn deadly

Experts say the difficulty of containing the coronavirus is that so many patients have mild, cold-like symptoms and don’t realize they have the infection – but it can quickly turn deadly

In one example, one doctor and 13 nurses who were treating a neurosurgery patient unknown to be carrying the virus were all infected by it.

Aside from China, cases have been confirmed in Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and the US.  

Cases are also suspected in Mexico, Colombia, the Philippines, the UK and Australia. 

Other developments in the outbreak today include: 

  • Chinese New Year celebrations planned for this weekend have been canceled in Beijing and Hong Kong 
  • An estimated 897 people around the world have been infected with coronavirus and 26 have died 
  • Japan confirmed its second case and a fifth patient has been diagnosed in Thailand 
  • Footage has emerged reportedly showing military personnel guarding a train station
  • Videos from inside hospitals show patients crammed into overcrowded corridors and laid on the floor 
  • Photos have emerged of Chinese construction workers starting urgent building of a new hospital in Wuhan 

The Wuhan coronavirus is believed to be milder than its cousin, SARS, and it takes longer for symptoms to appear. 

Almost all deaths of the Wuhan coronavirus occurred among older males who had pre-existing conditions.

There is no cure for the new virus or vaccine to prevent it, and the National Institutes of Health says research to develop a vaccine is in ‘very preliminary stages.’

 EXPERTS FEAR IT’S TOO LATE FOR A LOCKDOWN OF CHINA

China has been taking unprecedented measures in an effort to stop the new coronavirus from spreading, but experts fear it may be too late.

On Thursday, authorities announced that planes, trains and buses leaving Wuhan were canceled. Tollways on roads out of the city were also shut down. 

Additionally, all public transportation within the city would be suspended, including buses, subways and ferries.

China has also closed several tourism attractions and cultural sites including Beijing’s Forbidden City, which saw 19 million visitors last year.

City authorities also canceled Lunar New Year events in the nation’s capital as well as temple fairs ‘to strengthen prevention and support’.   

With the deadly virus reaching so many cities in China and so many countries abroad in such a short time frame, many fear measures came too little too late.

‘I think we have passed the golden period of control and prevention,’ Guan Yi, an expert on viruses at Hong Kong University, told Agence France-Presse.  

Yi, who left Wuhan ahead of the lockdown, said many people left ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, which began Friday.

He says many residents could have been incubating the virus ‘on their way out of Wuhan.’  



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