Coronavirus: CDC mistakenly releases US patient

'The fact that the CDC allowed the public to be exposed to a patient with a positive COVID-19 reading is unacceptable'

Chris Riotta
New York
Monday 02 March 2020 16:05
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A patient who was released from a Texas facility operated by the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) later tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus, it has been claimed.

Ron Nirenberg, the mayor of San Antonio, revealed the news and suggested the development may have caused the public to be exposed to the mysterious virus.

“Today we learned that the CDC mistakenly released a patient from the Texas Center for Infectious Disease who later returned a positive COVID-19 reading”, the mayor wrote.

He added: “The fact that the CDC allowed the public to be exposed to a patient with a positive COVID-19 reading is unacceptable.”

The new coronavirus was reportedly responsible for at least two deaths in the US and more than 3,000 worldwide — the majority of those occurring in China, where the virus was believed to have originated at a market in Wuhan.

The patient in question had reportedly met guidelines required to be released from the San Antonio Texas Centre for Infection Disease, including two negative test results for the coronavirus.

Following their return to the medical facility, the patient tested positive for COVID-19 — the official name for the Wuhan coronavirus — and was placed back into isolation.

The CDC said in a statement that local officials have been “tracking” where the patient went during their release, including “who they interacted with, timeframes outside the federally ordered quarantine and who may have been exposed”.

Mr Nirenberg also said that his office would “hold the CDC accountable” to ensure the centre releases more information about the patient to the public, adding: “I have asked the CDC to do everything in their power to ensure that those who are released pose no risk to the community”.

The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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