7,000 People–Including 114 Americans–Held on Cruise Ship Over Possible Coronavirus Case

A cruise ship carrying 7,000 people is being held in an Italian port after a Chinese passenger showed signs of having “coronavirus.”
The ship, Costa Smeralda, is operated by the Italian company, Costa Crociere and is carrying 114 Americans.

The company released a statement and said the passenger is a 54-year-old Chinese national who has been put on isolation in the hospital on the ship since last night. Her travel mate is also in isolation which is “in line with health protocols.”

“Costa Cruises confirms the sanitary protocol has been activated for a guest on-board of Costa Smeralda,” the statement continues.

“As soon as the suspected case was detected, the Medical Team on board immediately activated all the relevant health procedures to promptly isolate and manage the clinical condition.”

NBC Reports:

The ship has 1,143 passengers who are scheduled to end their cruise in Civitavecchia, a port city about 50 miles northwest of Rome.

Health officials with the maritime authority in Civitavecchia have given those travelers permission to leave the ship — but that city’s mayor asked for that disembarkment to be delayed until the results of all medical tests were known.

The maritime authority agreed to that delay, according to Patrick Vignola, a spokesman for the mayor.

The virus–thought to have originated in a animal and seafood market in Wuhan, China–causes pneumonia and symptoms include cough, fever and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, organ failure can occur.

As of today, the death toll in China stands at 170 and the country has over 7,736 confirmed cases.

The CDC also confirmed today the first human-to-human transmission of coronavirus in the U.S.

The transmission occurred in Chicago after a woman was infected during a recent trip to Wuhan. Her husband now also has the virus.  According to health officials, the man is in his 60s and has “some underlying medical conditions.” Both patients are doing well.

There are another 21 patients in Illinois who are being monitored for the infection.