Feb 26, 2020 - Health

U.S. soldier tests positive to coronavirus in South Korea

U.S. soldiers participate in a military tactical demonstration at the U.S. Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Sept. 20, 2019. Photo: Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

A 23-year-old American soldier stationed at Camp Carroll in South Korea is in quarantine at his off-base residence after testing positive to the novel coronavirus, the U.S. military said in a statement Tuesday.

Why it matters: He is the first U.S. service member to test positive for COVID-19, which has infected more than 80,000 people, mostly in China, including 57 Americans.

Details: The military said the soldier had visited Camp Walker military base in Daegu — where there are hundreds of coronavirus infections — on Monday and Camp Carroll Army Base on the South Korean peninsula Feb. 21–25.

  • Health professionals from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Forces Korea "are actively conducting contact tracing to determine whether any others may have been exposed," the military said.

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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CDC detects first possible community spread of coronavirus in U.S.

A virologist looking at an electron microscope image of a MERS coronavirus, a close relative of the novel coronavirus. Photo: Arne Dedert/picture alliance via Getty Images

A person in California who hadn't traveled to a country impacted by the novel coronavirus nor had any known contact with anyone infected by the virus has tested positive to COVID-19, the CDC said in a statement.

Why it matters: Per the CDC, "It's possible this could be an instance of community spread of COVID-19, which would be the first time this has happened in the United States. Community spread means spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown." However, the patient may have "been exposed to a returned traveler who was infected," the CDC noted. "At this time, the patient's exposure is unknown," it said.

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U.S. Marine first in Virginia to test positive for coronavirus

Fort Belvoir in Virginia. Photo: Tex Jobe/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Wikimedia Commons

A U.S. Marine in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, has become the first person in the state to contract the novel coronavirus, Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Rath Hoffman said in a statement via Twitter on Saturday evening.

The big picture: The Marine was being treated at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital after recently returning from overseas, where he was on official business, Hoffman said. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and the White House have been briefed on the case. On Friday, a U.S. Navy sailor stationed in Naples, Italy, became the first in Europe to test positive for the virus. An American soldier stationed in South Korea was quarantined on Feb. 25 after testing positive for COVID-19.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Keep ReadingArrowUpdated Mar 8, 2020 - Health

San Francisco declares coronavirus emergency

Airline passengers wearing face masks walk out of the international terminal at the San Francisco International Airport on Jan. 31. Photo: Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images

San Francisco Mayor London Breed made an emergency declaration on Tuesday in response to the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: COVID-19 infections have spread from China to some 40 countries and territories. There are 57 cases in the U.S. The CDC anticipates it will spread further, and that's why Breed said she took the action. While there have been no confirmed cases among San Francisco residents, three people have been treated for the virus in hospitals in the city, the Los Angeles Times notes.

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