Officials at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UMNC) in Omaha said most of the Americans who were evacuated from Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan have been tested positive for the coronavirus, aka COVID-19.
In a statement, UNMC said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the Nebraska Public Health Lab results reporting that 11 of the 13 patients have COVID-19. The other two who were tested negative were taken to the Omaha hospital.
The medical center said some of the patients had tested positive in Japan. However, “some came with a lack of clarity what their test results were,” according to the UNMC/Nebraska Medical Executive Director of Emergency Management and Biopreparedness, Shelly Schwedhelm.
Schwedhelm has clinical oversight of the quarantine and biocontainment units.
The hospital said, “Several people are exhibiting minor symptoms but others are not showing any symptoms.”
CDC spokesperson Bert Kelly told CNN that the health agency has verified the results, which brings the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 to 26 in the United States.
The U.S. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness Response asked UNMC to take in 13 patients who had either tested positive for the coronavirus or had a chance of testing positive.
American evacuees were on the cruise ship docked off in Yokohama, Japan for a couple of weeks due to coronavirus.
Globally, COVID-19 has affected 76,738 and killed 2,247
In 2005, UNMC was commissioned by the CDC to create the biocontainment unit where three patients have been kept, while the rest are in a separate federal quarantine center on the campus, which is built by UNMC with the help of a private-public partnership.
UNMC successfully treated three Ebola patients in 2014. The medical facility can also manage other highly infectious diseases, including SARS, monkeypox, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, among others.