A Riverside County resident who was a passenger on the Diamond Princess cruise ship has tested positive for coronavirus, authorities said.
The individual is currently housed at a Northern California medical facility and is expected to make a full recovery, Riverside County public health officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said Tuesday.
Nearly 3,500 passengers and crew members were on board the ship when it was quarantined after passengers from China who boarded between Jan. 19 and 24 tested positive for coronavirus. Four people who were aboard the ship have died from the virus, which has been declared an international public health emergency.
The U.S. State Department in mid-February chartered flights to transport more than 300 U.S. citizens from the ship, which had been docked off Yokohama, Japan, since Feb. 3 after it was quarantined. The passengers landed Feb. 17 at Travis Air Force Base in Solano County, although some continued on to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas. All are under a federally mandated 14-day quarantine on the bases.
Of those who arrived at Travis, 21 have tested positive for COVID-19, and 17 are still receiving treatment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s public information officer, Scott Pauley, said. The Riverside County resident is included in that number, Pauley said.
According to the CDC’s latest count Wednesday morning, 59 U.S. citizens have tested positive for coronavirus — 42 of whom are repatriated citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise. That number has grown by two since CDC Director Nancy Messonnier’s last count on Tuesday, although the CDC was not immediately available to offer details on the additional cases.
More than 81,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported globally, and more than 2,700 people have died, with the majority in mainland China, the epicenter of the outbreak.
CDC officials have warned that while the virus is likely to spread in U.S. communities, the flu still poses a greater risk.