This article is a part of our news series on the COVID-19 pandemic. For information on how to prevent the spread of the virus, click here.
As of Feb. 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed two coronavirus cases in San Diego. By Feb. 19, one of these patients has fully recovered and has been discharged from UC San Diego Health.
The first person in San Diego was diagnosed with the virus on Feb. 10, while the second case was confirmed on Feb. 13. Both patients are American evacuees from Wuhan, China who were previously quarantined at Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar. They are currently hospitalized at UC San Diego medical center in Hillcrest for treatment.
The first patient landed at MCAS Miramar on Feb. 5 and was tested for coronavirus due to suspected symptoms of COVID-19. Based on a statement released by UCSD Health, after being informed the test was negative for COVID-19 on Sunday, Feb. 9, the patient was discharged from UCSD Health and returned to MCAS Miramar for quarantine. However, on the morning of Monday Feb. 10, the patient was notified the test was positive after further testing, and the patient was returned to UCSD medical center for treatment.
According to the news released by NBC 7 San Diego, the patient was discharged by accident “due to pseudonyms used for privacy reasons” because the former test result was mislabelled.
The second COVID-19 case was diagnosed on Feb. 13. The second patient landed at MCAS Miramar on Feb. 7 and suffered from high fevers and dry cough two days after flying from Wuhan, according to San Diego Union Tribune.
On Feb. 19, the CDC informed UCSD Health that a patient being treated for coronavirus under the university’s care has fully recovered. After multiple tests conducted by the CDC, the patient was deemed to be no longer infectious. The patient is now discharged and can leave the hospital.
The two patients were among the total 232 Americans evacuees from Wuhan, China who landed at MCAS Miramar two weeks ago. MCAS Miramar is one of the four military bases in the United States that houses evacuees for federal quarantine. Currently there is no reported risk that the virus is spreading person to person within the quarantine group nor a reported public risk due to the transportation of the two patients.
At UCSD, the Chinese Union student organization is making ongoing efforts to combat the virus in China. The organization previously raised more than $15,000 to purchase medical supplies for local hospitals in China. According to UCSD News Center, there are 4,000 protective coveralls, 10,000 face masks and 2,000 goggles yet to be shipped, and the members of Chinese Union are connecting with non-profit organizations in China, hoping to donate the supplies to sites in need. The Chinese Union also set up a Gofundme to continue fundraising.
Xenophobia due to COVID-19 has also been on the rise at campus. According to a student survey conducted by the UCSD Guardian, 65 percent of UCSD students reported witnessing xenophobia and 29 percent reported experiencing xenophobia. The survey had 49 student participants.
“After the professor briefly mentioned the severity of the virus in my class, a student said something about how now it is easier to identify Chinese on campus cause only Chinese wear masks, this really made me feel uncomfortable,” said Thurgood Marshall College junior student Xinzhe Jiang, “Everyone at UCSD community should respect each others, and people should focus on the research progress on coronavirus therapy instead of making jokes on Chinese.”
The UCSD campus has been continuously updating information about coronavirus through students emails. To be vigilant against contracting the virus, students should take caution and maintain good hygiene, including covering cough and sneezes, washing hands frequently and avoiding close contact with other people.
Photo courtesy of National Public Radio.