TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE (CBS13) — Five people who were evacuated from Wuhan, China and quarantined at Travis Air Force Base have been confirmed “symptomatic” and transported to local hospitals, the CDC confirmed.
The evacuees brought to Travis AFB for quarantine this week will stay isolated until doctors can confirm they don’t have the virus. A doctor with the CDC told CBS13 one of those patients is doing well, and the others still need more tests. Four of the patients with symptoms just arrived in Fairfield from Wuhan on Friday morning.
Officials say one of the five patients arrived at Travis on the first evacuation flight on Wednesday with more than 170 evacuees. The four other patients arrived on a flight early Friday morning with 201 passengers from Wuhan.
Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC’s coronavirus team leader at Travis Air force Base, said the symptoms include fever or shortness of breath along with any cough.
He said the symptomatic patients were transported by ambulance to local hospitals.
“They themselves have a mask on as well as the drivers of the ambulances have the appropriate items to keep themselves protected,” Walke said.
Some living in the Fairfield area worry this could expose people who are not part of the quarantine.
“The doctors there, the nurses there, the patients that go there,” Martha Guillen said.
The patients with symptoms were taken to isolation units, which are rooms in the hospital with negative pressure.
“Their respiration, their breath, doesn’t move outside the room,” Walke said.
The CDC wants to make clear that these patients are just showing symptoms and have not been officially diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.
Walke said public fear over the virus is leading more people to wear masks. He said there’s no reason for people to wear masks because there’s no local transmission happening.
“It can provide a false sense of security, these masks. And also it can take away the supply of masks for those who need it most,” Walke said.
There are 234 evacuees quarantined at Travis Airforce base, staying in a hotel. Most of the evacuees on the flight Friday morning continued on to San Antonio, but CDC officials say 53 people remained at Travis.
Federal health officials said there are 12 confirmed cases of the coronavirus nationwide.