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Coronavirus in San Diego: 2 patients remain hospitalized, 1 person under observation

Posted at 12:28 PM, Feb 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-14 08:06:12-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Two patients diagnosed with the potentially deadly novel coronavirus remain hospitalized at UC San Diego Medical Center Thursday, while physicians at the facility continue to monitor a third person who has shown symptoms linked to the virus.

Dr. Randy Taplitz, an expert on infectious diseases with UC San Diego Health, updated the media Thursday on the patients’ respective conditions. Taplitz said one of the coronavirus patients is in good condition, with the second patient listed in fair condition. She did not elaborate when asked by reporters to further define “fair condition.”

Both patients are in isolation at the hospital.

According to Taplitz, the third person showing possible signs of the virus remains under observation.

RELATED: Second case of coronavirus confirmed in San Diego County

Taplitz said the hospital was anticipating more cases of the illness coming into the UC San Diego Health system.

UC San Diego Health officials said both coronavirus patients and the third person under observation arrived at MCAS Miramar last week via a flight from Wuhan, China.

The CDC said in a news release that the “first and second patients arrived on different planes and were housed in separate facilities; there are no epidemiologic links between them.”

One of the patients was mistakenly released from isolation and taken back to MCAS Miramar due to a mislabeled test sample. She was later returned to UC San Diego Medical Center.

Regarding that patient's accidental release, Taplitz said it was due to "miscommunication," rather than mislabeling. According to the doctor, the labels on the samples were performed according to hospital protocol, but a miscommunication must have caused some issue between UC San Diego Health and the CDC, leading to the patient's inadvertent release back to the base.

"We're very confident it will not happen again," Taplitz said. "That has all been resolved and this will not happen moving forward."

According to the CDC, as of Feb. 13, there are 15 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S.

RELATED: Mislabeled sample led to release of San Diego coronavirus patient

UC San Diego Health officials stressed that the medical center is fully equipped to handle the illness, which has now been dubbed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization.

So far, Miramar has received two flights carrying evacuees from Wuhan. A total of 167 evacuees were aboard the first flight that arrived on Feb. 5. The second flight carried 65 people to the base on Feb. 7.

City News Service contributed to this report