Grand Princess DOCKS in Oakland with at least 21 people aboard infected with coronavirus

The first passengers aboard the quarantined Grand Princess cruise ship disembarked the liner on Monday afternoon, with one man seen being placed into a stretcher. 

The cruise ship carrying 3,500 passengers and crew landed at the Port of Oakland on Monday after five days of being held in limbo in international waters. 

There are at least 21 people infected with coronavirus aboard the ship, that made its way under the Golden Gate bridge Monday morning before docking in Oakland shortly after noon local time. 

The 2,421 passengers cheered as the Grand Princess docked at the port where medical experts and officials in Hazmat suits awaited them. 

The ship is carrying people from 54 countries including over 200 from Canada and 140 from the UK, according to the BBC, all of whom will be repatriated to their home countries.  

Around 2.30pm two passengers, a man and a woman both wearing face masks, were removed from the ship and medical officials calmly put the man into a stretcher and into a Santa Clara County ambulance. The woman followed behind into the ambulance. 

By 3.30pm the 21 infected people were offloaded the ship as per ABC7.  

Passengers who ‘require acute medical treatment and hospitalization’ were the first passengers to be removed, officials said. 

Unloading will take three days officials say, and travelers will be taken to four military bases for quarantine. It’s not clear how many people will be removed on Monday.  

Scroll down for video 

The first two passengers aboard the quarantined Grand Princess cruise ship disembarked the liner on Monday afternoon, with one man seen being placed into a stretcher

The first two passengers aboard the quarantined Grand Princess cruise ship disembarked the liner on Monday afternoon, with one man seen being placed into a stretcher

The first two passengers aboard the quarantined Grand Princess cruise ship disembarked the liner on Monday afternoon, with one man seen being placed into a stretcher

The first to passengers to get off the cruise ship were an older man and woman clutching red an white tote bags

The first to passengers to get off the cruise ship were an older man and woman clutching red an white tote bags

The first to passengers to get off the cruise ship were an older man and woman clutching red an white tote bags

The man agreed to sit in the stretcher where he calmly clasped his hands in his lap and both passengers were placed inside the ambulance

The man agreed to sit in the stretcher where he calmly clasped his hands in his lap and both passengers were placed inside the ambulance

The man agreed to sit in the stretcher where he calmly clasped his hands in his lap and both passengers were placed inside the ambulance

The male patient pictured being loaded into an ambulance after being removed from the Grand Princess Cruise ship

The male patient pictured being loaded into an ambulance after being removed from the Grand Princess Cruise ship

The male patient pictured being loaded into an ambulance after being removed from the Grand Princess Cruise ship

American passengers will be flown or bused from the port to military bases in California, Texas and Georgia for testing and a 14-day quarantine. 

Some of those cruise ship passengers set be removed from the ship Monday will be transported to the Dobbins Reserve Air base in Cobb County, Georgia. 

California residents will be sent to the Travis Air Force base in Solano County.  

Vice President Mike Pence said in a press conference Monday evening that the 25 children on board the ship were tested over the course of two days and all tested negative for the coronavirus. Today Americans and Canadians will disembark. 

Personnel covered in head to toe in protective gear had earlier woken those on board to check whether they have symptoms of the virus. The vessel, linked to California’s first death from COVID-19 from an earlier voyage to Mexico, had been held at sea for a number of days.

Fences were being installed at an 11-acre site at the Port of Oakland, as authorities readied flights and buses to whisk the 2,421 passengers aboard the Grand Princess to military bases or their home countries for a 14-day quarantine. It will then leave with the remaining 1,094 crew, mostly foreign nationals, quarantined on board.

Passenger Karen Schwartz Dever told NBC: ‘Everyone was hollering and clapping as we entered the harbor.’ Footage shows those on board cheering and shouting ‘thank you’ as the ship docked. 

‘We’re making every effort to get them off the ship as safely and quickly as possible,’ said Dr. John Redd of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who had urged passengers to remain in their rooms.  

Medical teams wait for the passengers held on the Grand Princess after 21 people aboard tested positive for coronavirus

Officials in California preparing to receive thousands of people from the Grand Princess after it docked Monday

Officials in California preparing to receive thousands of people from the Grand Princess after it docked Monday

Officials in California preparing to receive thousands of people from the Grand Princess after it docked Monday 

The cruise ship held off the coast of San Francisco with at least 21 people aboard infected with the coronavirus made its way under the Golden Gate bridge Monday before docking in Oakland shortly after noon local time

The cruise ship held off the coast of San Francisco with at least 21 people aboard infected with the coronavirus made its way under the Golden Gate bridge Monday before docking in Oakland shortly after noon local time

The cruise ship held off the coast of San Francisco with at least 21 people aboard infected with the coronavirus made its way under the Golden Gate bridge Monday before docking in Oakland shortly after noon local time

Passenger Karen Schwartz Dever told NBC : 'Everyone was hollering and clapping as we entered the harbor.' Footage shows those on board cheering as the ship docked. Laurie Miller, of San Jose, called the process an 'absolute circus'. Passengers get excited about docking above

Passenger Karen Schwartz Dever told NBC : 'Everyone was hollering and clapping as we entered the harbor.' Footage shows those on board cheering as the ship docked. Laurie Miller, of San Jose, called the process an 'absolute circus'. Passengers get excited about docking above

Above some passengers wave and posed for selfies

Above some passengers wave and posed for selfies

Passenger Karen Schwartz Dever told NBC : ‘Everyone was hollering and clapping as we entered the harbor.’ Footage shows those on board cheering as the ship docked. Laurie Miller, of San Jose, called the process an ‘absolute circus’. Above some passengers wave and posed for selfies

Federal and state officials in California were preparing Monday to receive thousands of people from the Grand Princess

Federal and state officials in California were preparing Monday to receive thousands of people from the Grand Princess

Federal and state officials in California were preparing Monday to receive thousands of people from the Grand Princess

The Grand Princess cruise ship which has crew members and passengers who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) passes under the Golden Gate Bridge heading towards the Port of Oakland in San Francisco, California

The Grand Princess cruise ship which has crew members and passengers who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) passes under the Golden Gate Bridge heading towards the Port of Oakland in San Francisco, California

The Grand Princess cruise ship which has crew members and passengers who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) passes under the Golden Gate Bridge heading towards the Port of Oakland in San Francisco, California

Personnel covered head to toe in protective gear woke passengers to check whether they have symptoms of COVID-19

Personnel covered head to toe in protective gear woke passengers to check whether they have symptoms of COVID-19

Personnel covered head to toe in protective gear woke passengers to check whether they have symptoms of COVID-19

Twenty-one people on board  have coronavirus - including 19 crew. The ship docked at Oakland on Monday at noon local time

Twenty-one people on board  have coronavirus - including 19 crew. The ship docked at Oakland on Monday at noon local time

Twenty-one people on board  have coronavirus – including 19 crew. The ship docked at Oakland on Monday at noon local time

Fences were being installed at an 11-acre site at the Port of Oakland, as authorities readied flights and buses to whisk 2,500 passengers aboard the Grand Princess, pictured Monday, to military bases or their home countries

Fences were being installed at an 11-acre site at the Port of Oakland, as authorities readied flights and buses to whisk 2,500 passengers aboard the Grand Princess, pictured Monday, to military bases or their home countries

Fences were being installed at an 11-acre site at the Port of Oakland, as authorities readied flights and buses to whisk 2,500 passengers aboard the Grand Princess, pictured Monday, to military bases or their home countries

 On Sunday, the U.S. State Department issued an advisory against travel on cruise ships, particularly for travelers with underlying health conditions. The statement said the CDC noted an ‘increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment.’ 

Grand Princess timeline: Virus hit cruise FINALLY docks

February 11: Grand Princess leaves San Francisco

February 21: Returns to San Francisco after Mexican Riveria trip; departs for second trip to Hawaii. 50 to 60 of the same passengers remain on board 

February 27: Former passenger hospitalized

March 3: He tests positive for coronavirus, along with a friend 

March 4: Hospitalized former passenger dies; passengers on board the Hawaiian Islands cruise told if they were also on the previous cruise, they must stay in their rooms until screening

March 5: Test kits delivered 

 March 6: 19 crew members and two passengers test positive 

March 9: Grand Princess docks in Oakland  

Passengers requiring acute medical attention and hospitalization will be allowed off the Grand Princess first and taken to health care facilities elsewhere in California, as would a relatively limited number of crew expected to need immediate treatment, California Governor Gavin Newsom said.  

The remaining U.S.based passengers will be transferred to one of four quarantine stations set up at military bases in California and elsewhere across the country for diagnostic testing and isolation, officials said.

All will remain under mandatory quarantine for 14 days, the presumed incubation period of the sometimes-deadly respiratory virus, also known as COVID-19, while they are tested and monitored for signs of infection.  

As the U.S. death toll from the virus reached at least 23 and the number of cases worldwide soared above 110,000, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the mayor of Oakland sought to reassure the public that none of the Grand Princess passengers would be exposed to the U.S. public before completing the quarantine. 

To hasten the triage process and minimize how much time the ship needs to remain in Portland, the U.S. Coast Guard was flying special mobile medical teams out to the vessel on Sunday to assess the health of passengers and crew ahead of their arrival, Newsom said.

Passengers who are well and from California – about 1,000 have been identified as state residents – will be taken to either Travis Air Force Base near Sacramento or Marine Corps Air Station Miramar close to San Diego.

Passengers from other states will be transported to either Joint Base San Antonio Lackland in Texas or Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia. That number was not specified, though at least 34 are from Georgia, according to state officials. 

A woman exercises on the bow of the Grand Princess shortly after it docked in Oakland

A woman exercises on the bow of the Grand Princess shortly after it docked in Oakland

A woman exercises on the bow of the Grand Princess shortly after it docked in Oakland

Passengers wearing protective face masks on the deck of the Grand Princess cruise ship on Monday

Passengers wearing protective face masks on the deck of the Grand Princess cruise ship on Monday

Passengers wearing protective face masks on the deck of the Grand Princess cruise ship on Monday 

Test results showed 19 crew members and two passengers have been infected with the deadly virus. Workers prepare a wharf at the Port of Oakland to receive the Grand Princess in Oakland, California on Monday

Test results showed 19 crew members and two passengers have been infected with the deadly virus. Workers prepare a wharf at the Port of Oakland to receive the Grand Princess in Oakland, California on Monday

Test results showed 19 crew members and two passengers have been infected with the deadly virus. Workers prepare a wharf at the Port of Oakland to receive the Grand Princess in Oakland, California on Monday

It is expected the process will take three days but California Gov. Gavin Newsom warned it could be longer. Preparations are underway to handle the passengers who will disembark from the Grand Princess cruise ship. The port is pictured Monday

It is expected the process will take three days but California Gov. Gavin Newsom warned it could be longer. Preparations are underway to handle the passengers who will disembark from the Grand Princess cruise ship. The port is pictured Monday

It is expected the process will take three days but California Gov. Gavin Newsom warned it could be longer. Preparations are underway to handle the passengers who will disembark from the Grand Princess cruise ship. The port is pictured Monday

A man watches the Princess Cruises Grand Princess cruise ship head to a port in Oakland on Monday afternoon

A man watches the Princess Cruises Grand Princess cruise ship head to a port in Oakland on Monday afternoon

A man watches the Princess Cruises Grand Princess cruise ship head to a port in Oakland on Monday afternoon

As the U.S. death toll from the virus reached at least 23 and the number of cases worldwide soared above 110,000, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the mayor of Oakland sought to reassure the public that none of the Grand Princess passengers would be exposed to the U.S. public before completing the quarantine

As the U.S. death toll from the virus reached at least 23 and the number of cases worldwide soared above 110,000, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the mayor of Oakland sought to reassure the public that none of the Grand Princess passengers would be exposed to the U.S. public before completing the quarantine

As the U.S. death toll from the virus reached at least 23 and the number of cases worldwide soared above 110,000, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the mayor of Oakland sought to reassure the public that none of the Grand Princess passengers would be exposed to the U.S. public before completing the quarantine

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS?

Like other coronaviruses, including those that cause the common cold and that triggered SARS, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness.

 The most common symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue 

Although having a runny nose doesn’t rule out coronavirus, it doesn’t thus far appear to be a primary symptom.

Most people only become mildly ill, but the infection can turn serious and even deadly, especially for those who are older or have underlying health conditions.

In these cases, patients develop pneumonia, which can cause: 

  • Potentially with yellow, green or bloody mucus Fever, sweating and shaking chills
  • Shortness of breath Rapid or shallow breathing 
  • Pain when breathing, especially when breathing deeply or coughing 
  • Low appetite, energy and fatigue 
  • Nausea and vomiting (more common in children) Confusion (more common in elderly people) 
  • Some patients have also reported diarrhea and kidney failure has occasionally been a complication. 

Avoid people with these symptoms. If you develop them, call your health care provider before going to the hospital or doctor, so they and you can prepare to minimize possible exposure if they suspect you have coronavirus.

 

State and federal authorities has said several hundred cruise passengers of other nationalities have been identified, including Canadians. Newsom said passengers and crew together represent 54 countries. 

Michele Smith, of Paradise, California, said a doctor knocked on her and her husband’s cabin before dawn and asked if they had a fever or a cough. The couple who went on the cruise to celebrate their wedding anniversary are healthy and, like the rest of the 2,400 passengers aboard, have been isolating in their cabins since Thursday. 

The number of infections in the United States climbed above 500 as testing for the virus increased.  The 75-year-old male passenger who traveled on the Grand Princess and died from the virus was infected before he came on board the quarantined vessel, the medical officer on the vessel said Sunday.  

The origins of the infection have left the fate of the ship in question as public health officials deal with a dozen cases of the virus in California linked to passengers who were on board traveling to Mexico last month, including the man who died.

Newsom said public health authorities were monitoring more than 1,500 other California residents who were on that Mexico cruise. 

It comes as The Regal Princess cruise ship pulled into a Florida port late Sunday night, after being held off Florida’s coast for hours while awaiting results for two crew members who eventually tested negative for coronavirus.

The Regal Princess was originally to have docked Sunday morning in Port Everglades but instead spent most of the day sailing up and down the coast. 

The Coast Guard delivered testing kits to the Regal Princess and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a ‘no-sail order’ for the ship.

The crew members in question had transferred more than two weeks ago from the Grand Princess cruise ship. 

A Port of Everglades spokeswoman, Ellen Kennedy, said later Sunday that the CDC had cleared the ship to enter port. 

A Princess Cruises statement issued early Monday said the CDC issued the clearance after the test results came back negative. 

It was later confirmed that two of the presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in Broward County, Florida, are connected to Port Everglades port. It was not clear how the cases are connected to the active cruise ship port.     

The Florida Department of Health has reported 13 cases of coronavirus in the state, including two deaths.  

The Port of Oakland was chosen for docking because of its proximity to an airport and a military base, Newsom said. U.S. passengers will be transported to military bases in California, Texas and Georgia, where they’ll be tested for the COVID-19 virus and quarantined.

‘That ship will turn around – and they are currently assessing appropriate places to bring that quarantined ship – but it will not be here in the San Francisco Bay,’ Newsom said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institutes of Health’s infectious diseases chief, said Sunday that widespread closure of a city or region, as Italy has done, is ‘possible.’ 

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said communities will need to start thinking about canceling large gatherings, closing schools and letting more employees work from home, as many companies have done in the Seattle, Washington, area amid an outbreak at a care home that has killed 17.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency Sunday because of the virus. 

The origins of the infection have left the fate of the ship in question as public health officials deal with a dozen cases of the virus in California linked to passengers who were on board traveling to Mexico last month, including the man who died

The origins of the infection have left the fate of the ship in question as public health officials deal with a dozen cases of the virus in California linked to passengers who were on board traveling to Mexico last month, including the man who died

The origins of the infection have left the fate of the ship in question as public health officials deal with a dozen cases of the virus in California linked to passengers who were on board traveling to Mexico last month, including the man who died

ServoPro, an independent contractor in restoration and disaster recovery, at Dobbins Air Force Base on Monday

ServoPro, an independent contractor in restoration and disaster recovery, at Dobbins Air Force Base on Monday

ServoPro, an independent contractor in restoration and disaster recovery, at Dobbins Air Force Base on Monday 

Contractors were seen at Dobbins Air Force Base preparing for cruise ship passengers who will be quarantined at the base. By mid-afternoon fences were erected around selected barracks at the base, pictured

Contractors were seen at Dobbins Air Force Base preparing for cruise ship passengers who will be quarantined at the base. By mid-afternoon fences were erected around selected barracks at the base, pictured

Contractors were seen at Dobbins Air Force Base preparing for cruise ship passengers who will be quarantined at the base. By mid-afternoon fences were erected around selected barracks at the base, pictured 

Princess Cruises, a unit of the world’s leading cruise operator, Carnival Corp, is also owner of the Diamond Princess, which was quarantined off Japan in February and became for a time the largest concentration of coronavirus cases outside of China, where the outbreak originated. 

On the Grand Princess, passengers Steven and Michele Smith of Paradise, California, said they hope their time spent on the ship in quarantine will count toward the 14 days they are expected to isolate themselves. But they said officials have not yet provided an answer.

‘We would love to get credit for the three or four days we’ve spent in our cabin,’ Steven Smith said.

Passenger Margaret Bartlett, 77, told the BBC: ‘The food is rotten and terrible and we have to fight for it. It is not good enough.’

The ship was held off the coast amid evidence it was the breeding ground for a cluster of at least 20 cases from a previous voyage.

Private companies and some public venues in the U.S. have been taking safety measures in an effort to limit the virus’ spread. 

Several universities have begun online-only courses, including the University of Washington, Stanford University and Columbia University. The largest school district in Northern California, with 64,000 students, canceled classes for a week when it was discovered a family in the district was exposed to COVID-19.

An empty dining center on the Grand Princess cruise ship on Friday off the California coast. Scrambling to keep the coronavirus at bay, officials ordered a cruise ship with about 3,500 people aboard to stay back from the California coast until passengers and crew can be tested, after a traveler from its previous voyage died of the disease

An empty dining center on the Grand Princess cruise ship on Friday off the California coast. Scrambling to keep the coronavirus at bay, officials ordered a cruise ship with about 3,500 people aboard to stay back from the California coast until passengers and crew can be tested, after a traveler from its previous voyage died of the disease

An empty dining center on the Grand Princess cruise ship on Friday off the California coast. Scrambling to keep the coronavirus at bay, officials ordered a cruise ship with about 3,500 people aboard to stay back from the California coast until passengers and crew can be tested, after a traveler from its previous voyage died of the disease

This photo provided by Michele Smith, shows a deserted lounge area on the Grand Princess cruise ship on Friday

This photo provided by Michele Smith, shows a deserted lounge area on the Grand Princess cruise ship on Friday

This photo provided by Michele Smith, shows a deserted lounge area on the Grand Princess cruise ship on Friday

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MORE THAN 700 CASES AND SIX DEATHS FROM DIAMOND PRINCESS CRUISE SHIP

In the worst cruise ship crisis so far, 706 people tested positive on the Diamond Princess after Japanese authorities imposed a two-week lockdown in Yokohama.

At least six people have died after they were taken to hospital from the doomed vessel.

Passengers were confined to their cabins during the lockdown but several countries eventually lost patience with Japan and airlifted their citizens home.

Japan was widely criticised for its handling of the ship, with one disease expert saying the quarantine was ‘completely inadequate’ after viewing the conditions on board.

Kentaro Iwata said the situation on board the vessel was worse than outbreaks he had dealt with in the past, such as Ebola in Africa and the 2003 SARS crisis in China.

The Kobe University infectious diseases expert said conditions on the ship were ‘completely chaotic’ and violated quarantine rules.

Japan had initially impounded the ship after a passenger who left the ship in Hong Kong in January subsequently tested positive.

The Diamond Princess, pictured in Yokohama last month, became one of the world's largest clusters of coronavirus cases when more than 700 people were infected on board

The Diamond Princess, pictured in Yokohama last month, became one of the world's largest clusters of coronavirus cases when more than 700 people were infected on board

The Diamond Princess, pictured in Yokohama last month, became one of the world’s largest clusters of coronavirus cases when more than 700 people were infected on board  

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New York and New Jersey’s Port Authority chief has coronavirus 

The head of New York and New Jersey’s Port Authority, which oversees airports in both states, has tested positive for coronavirus as the number of cases in the state increased to 142 with 19 in New York City.

Rick Cotton - the executive director of the Port Authority - tested positive for coronavirus

Rick Cotton - the executive director of the Port Authority - tested positive for coronavirus

Rick Cotton – the executive director of the Port Authority – tested positive for coronavirus 

Rick Cotton – the executive director of the Port Authority – tested positive for coronavirus and was now working from home, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed on Monday.

He said Cotton had been on the ground at airports as he oversaw the Port Authority’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The Port Authority is in charge of all five airports in New York and New Jersey, including JFK, Newark and LaGuardia.

Members of Cotton’s team and senior officials at the Port Authority who may have come into contact with him are now also being tested and are currently in self-quarantine.

Cuomo admitted he could have been in contact with Cotton but said he hadn’t been tested because he is an ‘improbable positive’, which means he is unlikely to have the virus.

The governor implied that Cotton may have been infected at JFK Airport.   

‘He has been at the airports, obviously, when many people were coming back with the virus,’ Cuomo said, adding that it ‘was one of the main airports for people coming in on those overseas flights’.

The Port Authority headquarters is located at 4 World Trade Center in Manhattan, which is a 72-story building that is also occupied by other companies. 

Everything you need to know about coronavirus

By Natalie Rahhal, Acting US Health Editor for DailyMail.com  

HOW DANGEROUS IS CORONAVIRUS?

About 14 percent of people who contract the Covid-19 coronavirus are taken to hospital – with severe symptoms including breathing problems and pneumonia. About 5 per cent need intensive care.

But the majority who get the virus suffer nothing more than a cough and may never know they are infected.

So far, some 51,000 people around the world have already recovered from coronavirus – and that just includes the numbers who received a diagnosis. 

HOW MANY PEOPLE DIE?

Officially, the death rate so far has been just over three percent. But experts believe the true mortality rate is probably between one and two percent. This is because most mild cases have not been picked up by doctors or reflected in the official numbers – so the death rate is inflated. 

HOW DOES THIS COMPARE WITH OTHER DISEASES?

Seasonal flu kills roughly 0.1 percent of people. So Covid-19 is between 10 and 20 times more fatal.

But it is far less dangerous than SARS – the virus that ripped across China in 2003 – which killed 10 percent of patients.

BUT DOESN’T CORONAVIRUS SPREAD MORE EASILY?

Yes, but not dramatically. The best estimates suggest every person with Covid-19 passes it on to 2.6 people, on average. For flu that number is 1.5. 

CAN IT BE SPREAD WITHOUT SYMPTOMS?

Initially scientists feared carriers who had no symptoms could pass it on. That is now in doubt.

What is likely, however, is those who have mild symptoms are putting it down to a cold and going about their normal lives – which puts others at risk.

HOW LONG IS IT BEFORE SYMPTOMS APPEAR?

Again, unclear. Initially scientists said this could take up to two weeks.

But recent evidence suggests the incubation period could be as long as a month – particularly among children.

The average, however, is much shorter. A Chinese study said the average period of symptom onset was 5.4 days for adults and 6.5 for children. 

WHO IS AT RISK?

The virus can affect anyone – with a study of the first 41 infected people revealing two thirds did not suffer from any pre-existing condition. But the middle-aged are most likely to get it – 78 percent of those infected in China have been aged 30 to 69.

WHAT ABOUT THE OLD?

Only 3 percent of people infected so far have been over 80 – but if they get it they are more vulnerable. Analysis of 72,000 cases in China suggests for over-80s the death rate is 15 percent. For those in their 70s the death rate is 8 percent and for those in their 60s, 4 percent.

WHO ELSE IS VULNERABLE?

Those with other conditions – such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and kidney problems – are likely to suffer severe complications if they become infected.

WHAT ABOUT CHILDREN?

Children seem to be low-risk. Less than 1 percent of the Chinese cases have been under the age of ten – and if children do get the virus it’s often a mild form.

They do, however, retain the virus for longer than adults.

A study last week found the virus was still present in the stools of some children for a month after they contracted it.

DOES GENDER MATTER?

Men are marginally more likely to get the virus than women. It is not clear why this is.

HOW DO DOCTORS TEST FOR COVID-19?

Anyone who has symptoms –particularly if they have travelled to an at-risk area – are told to call ahead to their health care provider, local emergency department or clinics.

This way, health care providers can be prepared, wearing masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment when they meet the possible patient and escort them to isolated areas of the facility.

They are tested using a cheek swab which is sent off for analysis at one of 12 Public Health England labs, a process that takes between 24 and 48 hours. Any positive test is double-checked at the main PHE lab in Colindale.

WHAT TREATMENT DO PATIENTS GET?

There is little doctors can do to tackle the virus, but they can treat the symptoms – such as fever and respiratory problems. Antivirals and antibiotics are also used, mainly to keep secondary problems at bay.

In the most serious cases patients are put on life-support equipment.

There are several clinical trials for potential coronavirus treatments ongoing worldwide, including one in Nebraska, where at least 13 patients are in quarantine, including two in biocontainment units. 

WHAT ABOUT A VACCINE?

Even though the Wuhan virus appeared only a few weeks ago, 20 teams around the world are already manufacturing vaccines.

Chinese authorities provided the DNA code for the virus early on in the outbreak, enabling scientists to get to work straight away.

At least 30 companies and research institutions in the US are racing to make a vaccine.

Last week, one of these companies, Moderna, shipped its candidate vaccine to the US, signalling the shot was ready to begin clinical trials.

Even so, US health authorities say it will likely be upwards of a year before a vaccine is actually ready.

CORONAVIRUS TRAVEL TIPS

As the novel coronavirus spreads across the globe, health experts advise plane travelers to sit in a window seat, disinfect their table trays and window blinds, and warn that wearing a mask won’t prevent infection.

Officials say the best way to avoid catching the virus, which is spread through viral particles within mucus or saliva, is to keep your hands clean, disinfect your space, and avoid touching your face.

It is also advised that plane travelers choose a window seat to have less contact with potentially sick people.

‘Book a window seat, try not to move during the flight, stay hydrated and keep your hands away from your face,’ Vicki Stover Hertzberg, professor of biostatistics and bioinformatics at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, said.

'Book a window seat, try not to move during the flight, stay hydrated and keep your hands away from your face,' a professor of biostatistics and bioinformatics at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, said

'Book a window seat, try not to move during the flight, stay hydrated and keep your hands away from your face,' a professor of biostatistics and bioinformatics at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, said

‘Book a window seat, try not to move during the flight, stay hydrated and keep your hands away from your face,’ a professor of biostatistics and bioinformatics at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, said

Hertzberg helped conduct a study that followed passengers and crew members on 10 three to five-hour flights during the flu season and found that passengers who sit in the window seats had less contact with ill people. 

Wearing a mask on the plane may not prove helpful as the air in the aircraft is considered sterile because there are so few microorganisms at such a high altitude and the plane draws fresh air from the outside. 

About 50 percent of the air in cabins is recirculated but it goes through sophisticated air filters similar to those used in surgical environments, before it’s its pushed back into the plane. 

A problem with paper masks is that they don’t have a respirator to filter out infectious air articles.

That means passengers are more likely to catch the virus through direct contact from someone with the virus or surfaces rather than through the air.

But one study found that the other coronaviruses – such as SARS and MERS – remains on metal, glass, and plastic surfaces for up to nine days. 

Top tips include:

– Good hand hygiene: Frequently wash hands for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitzer

– Disinfect your space: Bring your own wipes and wipe down window blinds, seat belts, arm rests, touch screens and tray tables

– Choose a window seat: Sit near the window and avoid moving around the cabin to limit exposure to potentially sick people

– Use touch screen with a tissue: Avoid contact with surfaces that may hold the virus

– Avoid touching your face: 2019-nCov is spread through viral particles in mucus or saliva. Avoid touching your face and transferring germs picked up from surfaces

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