live updates France announces 1st coronavirus death in Europe Download the free app

  • link copied


CDC ramps up response to coronavirus

France's health minister announced on Saturday the first death from coronavirus in Europe. The patient was an 80-year-old Chinese tourist who went to France in mid-January and was hospitalized later that month, according to French Health Minister Agnès Buzyn.

The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the new coronavirus, which has killed more than 1,500 people and is still spreading in China, could be around for at least another year. The outbreak has infected ten of thousands of people worldwide. There are 15 confirmed cases in the U.S., but none are said to be suffering serious symptoms.

The agency is setting up five labs around the U.S. where people with flu-like symptoms can be tested for coronavirus if their flu results are negative. The virus, dubbed COVID-19, has spread to more than two dozen countries.

Concern In China As Mystery Virus Spreads
A protective mask is seen on a statue outside a restaurant as people walk by in an empty and shuttered commercial street on February 5, 2020 in Beijing, China. Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

New Updates Updated 7:34 AM

U.S. Embassy: Americans aboard quarantined ship to fly home

The U.S. Embassy in Japan said Americans aboard a quarantined cruise ship will be flown back home on a chartered flight Sunday.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has docked at the port city of Yokohama, is carrying about 380 Americans. So far, 218 people from the ship have tested positive for coronavirus.

People will be flown to Travis Air Force Base in California, with some passengers continuing to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, the embassy said in a letter to passengers and crew that was posted online Saturday. After arriving in the U.S., all will need to go through another two weeks of quarantine.

Everyone will get a checkup before being allowed on the chartered flight, and those with symptoms of sickness will not be allowed to board, the embassy said.

Japan's Health Ministry allowed 11 passengers to disembark Friday, saying that those above 80, with underlying medical conditions as well as those staying in windowless cabins during the 14-day quarantine can stay at a designated facility on shore.

-The Associated Press

  • link copied

Updated 7:09 AM

Scientists ramp up search for coronavirus vaccine

The CDC is ramping up its own response to the epidemic by setting up five labs around the U.S. where people with flu-like symptoms can now be tested for coronavirus if their flu results are negative. This comes as scientists around the world race to develop a vaccine.

Inovio pharmaceuticals has already successfully developed vaccines for Ebola and Zika. CBS News spoke with Kate Broderick, the company's senior vice president of research and development.

"So you're using DNA and genetics to teach the body how to attack the virus?" CBS News asked.

"Exactly, and to recognize the virus and then attack it immediately," Broderick said, adding that the vaccine they are working on is showing promise.

"It's currently being tested in the lab literally as we speak, and we're manufacturing large scale quantities of it to get into human testing by the early summer," she added.

By Carter Evans

  • link copied

Updated 7:08 AM

Apple reopening stores in Beijing and Shanghai

Apple is reopening some of its stores in China after they were closed for about two weeks. The company confirmed to CBS News that one of its seven stores in Shanghai will reopen on Saturday.

On Friday, all five Apple Stores in Beijing reopened with reduced hours, the Reuters news agency reported. Customers are being asked to wear a face mask and allow for their temperature to be taken.

Apple announced the temporary closure of all of its stores in China at the beginning of the month.

By Alex Sundby

  • link copied

Updated 7:08 AM

Bullies attack Asian-American teen, accusing him of having coronavirus

A 16-year-old boy in Southern California was physically attacked this week by bullies in his high school who accused him of having coronavirus — simply because he is Asian-American.

"He went to the hospital originally and went to the emergency room," Robin Toma, the executive director of the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, said in a joint news conference with officials on Thursday. "They were taking MRIs to ensure he didn't have a concussion or other harm."

According to CBS Los Angeles, officials released neither the name of the student's school nor any further details of the attack, noting only that Los Angeles police are now investigating.

"Our goal is to send out accurate information to all of our 80 districts, reaching over two million children," said Debra Duardo, Los Angeles County superintendent of schools. "To tell them that there is no need for excessive fear, that there is very minimal risk of contracting the coronavirus and that we will not tolerate any type of bullying."

By christina capatides

  • link copied

Updated 7:07 AM

Coronavirus spreads to Africa with Egypt reporting first confirmed case

Authorities in Egypt reported the country's first coronavirus case Friday, CBS News' Ahmed Shawkat reports from Cairo. The case marks the first confirmed case of the disease in Africa.

Egypt's health ministry said in a statement the patient was in stable condition and didn't have any symptoms. The patient wasn't an Egyptian citizen, and the ministry didn't provide the patient's nationality.

The ministry said it found the patient by following up with people who have arrived from countries with recorded infections of the disease. The diagnosis was confirmed with laboratory tests.

The patient was in isolation at a hospital, the ministry said. It didn't provide any other details about the patient, including where the patient was being treated.

People who have been in contact with the patient have tested negative for the disease and will be under quarantine in their homes for 14 days, the ministry said.

By Alex Sundby

  • link copied

First published on February 15, 2020 / 9:10 AM