Air Force issues public health alert for ‘Wuhan virus’ following case in Japan

The medical group at Yokosuka Air Base in Japan is warning U.S. military personnel to be aware of symptoms of the deadly virus originating from Wuhan, China, after a case was reported in nearby Kanagawa prefecture, home to Yokosuka Naval Base, Naval Air Facility Atsugi and the U.S. Army’s Camp Zama.

In a message posted to the base’s Facebook page Wednesday, the 374th Medical Group issued a public health alert about the new coronavirus that has sickened more than 600 people and killed at least 17.

According to the message, a resident of Kanagawa contracted the pneumonia-like illness during a visit to Wuhan in early January and was hospitalized after returning to Japan. He has since recovered and been released.

Roughly 50,000 U.S. service members are assigned to U.S. Forces Japan, many with accompanying family members. The alert listed the signs and symptoms and urged anyone with concerns to contact the group’s public health office.

2019-nCoV, as the illness is referred, is a previously unknown virus that has infected more than 600 people, including residents of China and travelers to Wuhan — at least two from Thailand, one from the Republic of Korea and the case in Japan as of Jan. 22, according to the World Health Organization.

Author: Dian Welle