UPDATE: 13 American's Possibly Exposed To Coronavirus At UNMC


OMAHA, Nebraska - UPDATE: Nebraska Medicine and UNMC provided an update on thirteen individuals that arrived at Eppley Airfield this morning quarantined for possible coronavirus.

UNMC's Dr. Chris Kratochvil says thirteen people arrived in Omaha in two planes. All were taken to the National Quarantine Unit that is located on the campus of UNMC. All of the Americans were on a cruise ship that was in quarantine due to the virus. Between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. Monday morning, health officials in Omaha were notified that the individuals who had tested positive for the virus or had a likelihood of testing positive because of the symptoms they were exhibiting would be brought to the metro area.

Dr. Kratochvil says, "These individuals were brought here because we have the personnel. We have the facilities. We have the resources and expertise to handle these individuals."

One of the thirteen is now in the biocontainment unit at UNMC. Dr. Mike Wadman with the quarantine unit says, "That person had lightheadedness, a mild cough and a fever that was documented before landing and also had a chronic condition."

While all were tested in Japan, they will again undergo testing in Omaha. The first round of results should be available to health officials today. Those who tested positive are showing mild symptoms.

All the individuals will remain in quarantine at UNMC and will not be transported to Camp Ashland. All transported to Omaha are adults and will remain at UNMC for the next two weeks.

Two Kalitta Air 747s, the same carrier that brought the 57 Americans from Wuhan, China, to Omaha on Feb. 7,  arrived at Eppley Airfield Monday morning carrying people possibly exposed to coronavirus.

The Omaha World-Herald reports the American citizens were on a cruise ship off Japan's coast who were at high risk for being exposed to the novel coronavirus and were taken to the University of Nebraska Medical Center campus.

The Omaha World-Herald reports crews in full hazardous materials gear could be seen coming out of the back of the plane, where a person in hazmat gear was standing with a laptop.

A small passenger bus and a small passenger van marked with the Nebraska Medicine logo were parked nearby.

Those vehicles left the airport, escorted by several Nebraska State Patrol vehicles and followed by a moving van that apparently was carrying luggage.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, the Nebraska Medicine vehicles went the Davis Global Center on the UNMC/Nebraska Medicine campus. The new building, at 42nd and Emile Streets, is home to the newly opened Training, Simulation & Quarantine Center.

That unit consists of 20 negative-pressure rooms designed to hold quarantined people. It is separate from the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit.

A spokesman for Nebraska Medicine told NewsRadio 1110 KFAB he couldn't comment on the latest developments.


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