Wuhan evacuees joyfully threw their face masks after their 14-day quarantine ended - but they could be celebrating too early

coronavirus quarantine

  • Patients flown out of Wuhan, China, by the US government were released from a 14-day federal quarantine at a Southern California air base on Tuesday.
  • The 14-day quarantine is based off the estimated incubation period for the Wuhan coronavirus.
  • The logic goes that, if you don't develop symptoms during that period, then you are likely to be fine.
  • However, a study from China's National Health Commission suggests that the incubation period of the disease could be as much as 24 days.
  • If it is that long, then getting through a 14-day quarantine is no guarantee that you won't get sick.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
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People evacuated from the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, celebrated the end of their quarantine at a Southern California airbase by throwing their face masks up in the air.

However, a new study released by the China's National Health Commission suggests that the virus might be capable of beating even a 14-day quarantine.
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The evacuees were held at the March Air Reserve base in Riverside, California, for two weeks, because that is the estimated incubation period of the coronavirus.

An incubation period is the time a person has a disease but does not show any outwards signs of it. The federal quarantine was imposed after one passenger attempted to leave isolation at the airbase.

The Chinese study, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, suggests that the incubation period for the virus, formally known as COVID-19, could be long as 24 days.
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The study suggests that patients can infect other during in incubation period.

By comparison, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus, which ravaged China in the early 2000s, had an incubation period of seven days."We are comfortable with the 14-day period being long enough to capture the incubation period for this virus," Nancy Knight, director of the Division of Global Health Protection at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said in a briefing.
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"They have been watched more closely than anyone else in the United States at this point in time."

Jose Arballo, a spokesperson for the Riverside County Department of Public Health, said during the briefing that the body temperatures of the evacuees were checked twice a day. Some passengers were also tested multiple times for the virus.

There are currently 13 confirmed coronavirus cases in the US. A couple in Chicago was the first confirmed person-to-person transfer of the disease in the US.
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On a global scale, the virus has killed at least 1,115 people and infected more than 45,000.

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