On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that two additional cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed among the evacuees of the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
This brings the total number of confirmed cases among the 144 individuals quarantined at Lackland to three.
Earlier this month, more than 300 Americans aboard the 3,700 passenger cruise ship were repatriated to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and Travis Air Force Base in California from the quarantined cruise ship off the coast of Japan.
Of the Americans evacuated, the State Department confirmed 14 individuals tested positive for the coronavirus.
Last Thursday, Lackland released 90 quarantined evacuees cleared of the virus who returned from the Hubei Province of China where the outbreak originated after confirming that the individuals in question were asymptomatic and free of the virus.
To date, the virus has affected nearly 81,000 people worldwide and caused nearly 3,000 deaths.
Though the majority of confirmed cases are in China, most recently, South Korea, Iran, and Italy announced outbreaks spreading in their respective countries.
In Italy, a country that is also a member state of the European Union (EU), some officials have raised concerns about the virus spreading to other parts of Europe due to the EU’s open border policies.
In Texas, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin announced last week their creation of a 3-Dimensional map capable of identifying the portion of the coronavirus that attaches to human cells.
This breakthrough could prove critical for the development of a vaccine capable of treating the novel coronavirus.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Aviation and Space, announced his intention to convene a hearing examining the role of commercial air travel in containing and mitigating the spread of the virus.
Among other measures, a travel ban to and from China and additional screenings are scheduled for discussion.
“As more countries are affected by this deadly disease and public concern continues to mount, Americans want confidence in the government’s response to this health crisis… There is a very real risk for the virus to spread widely and potentially become a pandemic,” Sen. Cruz said in an official statement.
On Monday, the CDC confirmed a total of 14 positive cases diagnosed in the U.S.
Later today, President Trump is scheduled to hold a press conference with CDC officials to discuss impacts and next steps concerning the coronavirus.
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Sarah McConnell is a reporter for The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Cyber Security Consultant after serving as a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security – Citizenship and Immigration Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas A&M as well as her Master of Public Service and Administration degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. In her free time, Sarah is an avid runner, jazz enthusiast, and lover of all things culinary.