Deaths Rise To 132 In China Outbreak As Foreigners Leave

Trump Must Quarantine China Passengers: Agree or disagree? Comment below. | 

“Federal isolation and quarantine are authorized for these communicable diseases [cholera, plague, flu and half a dozen more diseases that can cause a pandemic]. Federal isolation and quarantine are authorized by Executive Order of the President. The President can revise this list by Executive Order.” Source – CDC 

SPECIAL IN-DEPTH COVERAGE FROM HEADLINE HEALTH

Coronavirus outbreak: Some Americans evacuated from Wuhan as death toll rises

Jan 29, 2020

CBS NEWS – A plane chartered by the U.S. government to evacuate as many as 240 Americans from the Chinese city at the center of the coronavirus outbreak landed overnight in Anchorage, Alaska to refuel before heading for Southern California.

It’s carrying diplomats from the U.S. Consulate in Wuhan and other U.S. citizens. Before the flight left China there were more than 1,000 Americans stuck in Wuhan.

Other countries have also begun evacuating citizens from China on chartered flights.

Anxiety in Wuhan, a quarantined city of 11 million people — and across Asia — was spreading as fast as the deadly virus.

By Wednesday morning the flu-like virus had killed at least 132 people, all of them in China.

Close to 6,000 others have been infected in more than a dozen countries, including five confirmed cases in the United States. More than 100 people in the U.S. were being tested for the disease across 26 states on Tuesday … Read more. 

Isolation and Quarantine

Isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.

  • Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

In addition to serving as medical functions, isolation and quarantine also are “police power” functions, derived from the right of the state to take action affecting individuals for the benefit of society. Source – CDC 

Deaths rise to 132 in China outbreak as foreigners leave

Jan 29, 2020

BEIJING (AP) — Countries began evacuating their citizens Wednesday from the Chinese city hardest-hit by an outbreak of a new virus that has killed 132 people and infected more than 6,000 on the mainland and abroad.

A Japanese flight carrying evacuees home included four people with coughs and fevers, two of whom were diagnosed with pneumonia.

The three men and one woman were taken to a Tokyo hospital in separate ambulances for treatment and further medical checks. Another woman developed nausea at the airport and was also hospitalized.

It wasn’t immediately known whether they were infected with the new type of coronavirus that appeared in the central city of Wuhan in December. Its symptoms, including cough and fever and in severe cases pneumonia, are similar to many other illnesses.

Scores of deaths, thousands of cases 

China’s latest figures cover the previous 24 hours and add 26 to the number of deaths, 25 of which were in the central province of Hubei and its capital, Wuhan.

The 5,974 cases on the mainland marked a rise of 1,459 from the previous day, although that rise is a smaller increase than the 1,771 new cases reported on Monday. Dozens of infections have been confirmed abroad as well.

The United Arab Emirates, home to long-haul carriers Emirates and Etihad, confirmed its first cases on Wednesday in members of a family who had come from Wuhan, the state-run news agency reported. It wasn’t immediately clear how many family members were involved.

British Airways announced it was immediately suspending all flights to and from mainland China after the U.K. government warned against unnecessary travel to the country.

BA said in a statement Wednesday that “we apologize to customers for the inconvenience, but the safety of our customers and crew is always our priority.” The airline operates daily flights from London’s Heathrow Airport to Shanghai and Beijing.

Federal Law

The federal government derives its authority for isolation and quarantine from the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Under section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S. Code § 264), the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to take measures to prevent the entry and spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the United States and between states.

The authority for carrying out these functions on a daily basis has been delegated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Source – CDC 

The outbreak has also affected international sporting events, with the International Hockey Federation postponing Pro League games in China and qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics scheduled in February in soccer, basketball and boxing being moved outside of the country.

With just 177 days before the summer Games, Tokyo organizers are on edge over the outbreak’s possible knock-on effects.

In Australia, health officials said the Chinese women’s national soccer team was quarantined in the city of Brisbane over concerns it had passed through Wuhan a week ago.

The team will be kept in isolation in a hotel until Wednesday next week. None of the group of 32 players and staff have shown symptoms.

50 million barred from traveling 

Chartered planes carrying evacuees home to Japan and the United States left Wuhan early Wednesday as other countries planned similar evacuations from areas China has shut down to try to contain the virus.

The lockdown of 17 cities has trapped more than 50 million people in the most far-reaching disease control measures ever imposed.

A plane carrying Americans who had been in Wuhan left for Anchorage, Alaska, where they will be re-screened for the virus. U.S. hospitals are prepared to treat or quarantine people who may be infected. After departing Alaska, the plane is to fly to Ontario, California.

At the Tokyo airport, Takeo Aoyama, an employee at Nippon Steel Corp.’s subsidiary in Wuhan, told reporters he was relieved to be able to return home.

“We were feeling increasingly uneasy as the situation developed so rapidly and we were still in the city,” Aoyama said, his voice muffled by a white surgical mask.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government confirmed the condition of the four ill passengers after the flight of 206 Japanese evacuees arrived. They were taken in separate ambulances to a Tokyo hospital for treatment and further health checks.

All of the passengers had their temperatures checked before boarding and on the plane, and plans had been made for all of the evacuees to be treated and quarantined depending on their test results.

Among those remaining in Wuhan was Sara Platto, an Italian animal behavior researcher and veterinarian, and her son, Matteo.

“My son turned 12 on January 23, the first day of the lockdown in Wuhan. So he couldn’t invite his friends over. We had a remote birthday celebration, with people ‘visiting’ him over Wechat,” Platto said, referring to China’s Twitter-like messaging app. “We called it the epidemic birthday.”

Platto said there were 25 Italians stuck in Wuhan, some students, some very young, who stay in touch online for material and emotional support.

She has used her scientific background to offer advice and debunk sensational false news, reminding friends to wash their hands and faces often.

As much as panic, people spending most of their times indoors have to deal with boredom.

Who Is in Charge

The federal government

  • Acts to prevent the entry of communicable diseases into the United States. Quarantine and isolation may be used at U.S. ports of entry.
  • Is authorized to take measures to prevent the spread of communicable diseases between states.
  • May accept state and local assistance in enforcing federal quarantine.
  • May assist state and local authorities in preventing the spread of communicable diseases.

State, local, and tribal authorities

  • Enforce isolation and quarantine within their borders.

It is possible for federal, state, local, and tribal health authorities to have and use all at the same time separate but coexisting legal quarantine power in certain events. In the event of a conflict, federal law is supreme. Source – CDC 

Matteo usually has a very busy agenda between his school, sports, and volunteer work, but now “it’s like suddenly everything has slowed down,” Platto said.

As with other international schools, classes are moving online until the all-clear is sounded.

“We have most of what we need for now. I think it’s a serious situation, but we are not in zombie land,” she said.

Several countries have confirmed cases of the virus, with most of them being Chinese visitors, people who visited Wuhan or family members in close contact to the sick. Japan’s six confirmed cases include a tour bus driver who drove visiting groups from Wuhan. Germany says four workers at an auto parts company possibly were infected when a colleague from Shanghai visited.

Australia and New Zealand were the latest countries planning evacuations. Both countries also stepped up their travel advice to China, as did Britain.

Experts have feared travel during the Lunar New Year holiday would enable the further spread of the virus, and China expanded the holiday to keep people home, closing schools and offices to try to contain it.

Chinese borders closed 

Hong Kong’s leader said the territory will cut all rail links to the mainland and halve the number of flights. Mongolia and North Korea were closing their borders with China, and many places have curtailed flights or are screening travelers arriving from China.

Wuhan is building two hospitals in a matter of days to add 2,500 beds for treatment of patients with the virus.

The new virus is from the coronavirus family, which includes those that can cause the common cold as well as more serious illnesses such as SARS and MERS.

The source of the virus and the full extent of its spread are still unknown. However, the World Health Organization said most cases reported to date “have been milder, with around 20% of those infected experiencing severe illness.”

On Tuesday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to discuss the latest information on the outbreak and reiterate their commitment to bringing it under control.

“The National Health Commission presented China’s strong public health capacities and resources to respond and manage respiratory disease outbreaks,” WHO’s statement said.

It said discussions focused on ways to cooperate to contain the virus in Wuhan and other cities and provinces and studies that could contribute to the development of medical countermeasures such as vaccines and treatments. Other WHO experts will visit China as soon as possible, it said.

“Stopping the spread of this virus both in China and globally is WHO’s highest priority,” Tedros said.
___
Associated Press writer Christina Larson in Washington, D.C. contributed to this report.

Enforcement

If a quarantinable disease is suspected or identified, CDC may issue a federal isolation or quarantine order.

Public health authorities at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels may sometimes seek help from police or other law enforcement officers to enforce a public health order.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Coast Guard officers are authorized to help enforce federal quarantine orders.

Breaking a federal quarantine order is punishable by fines and imprisonment.

Federal law allows the conditional release of persons from quarantine if they comply with medical monitoring and surveillance. Source – CDC 

Trump Must Quarantine China Passengers: Agree or disagree? Comment below.

China put 46 million people on lockdown to contain the Wuhan coronavirus. But quarantines throughout history have been riddled with mishaps.

Jan 29, 2020

Business Insider 

  • In an attempt to contain the Wuhan coronavirus, China has issued the largest quarantine in human history.
  • The country has put 16 cities on lockdown, affecting an estimated 46 million people.
  • Quarantines have been used to prevent the spread of disease for hundreds of years. The first formal system was established in Venice during the 14th Century.

In a matter of weeks, the Wuhan coronavirus has killed more than 100 people and infected over 4,600.

The Chinese government is scrambling to contain the disease, and in doing so, has issued the largest quarantine in human history — locking down 16 cities.

But will it work?

The idea of separating the healthy from the sick is not new. Documents dating as far back as the Old Testament contain rules for isolating people with Leprosy … Read more. 

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