A man has contracted the coronavirus and 17 others are in self-quarantine after being in contact with him in a city in Germany that’s home to the largest U.S. military community overseas, Stars and Stripes reported Friday.
The 32-year-old patient recently returned from a trip to Iran, health officials for the city of Kaiserslautern and Westpfalz Klinikum, a Kaiserslautern hospital, revealed, the military news outlet reported.
About 50,000 Americans live in the city and outlying villages. Military officials say no cases of coronavirus have been reported among the U.S. population in the area, Stars and Stripes reported.
German health officials believe the patient contracted the coronavirus in Iran, which has reported 22 related deaths and 141 confirmed cases, the World Health Organization said Thursday.
He arrived back at Frankfurt airport on Feb. 19 symptom-free and took a bus to Kaiserslautern. On Wednesday, he went to the hospital with a fever, while shaking and coughing, the news outlet reported. The hospital tested for and confirmed the coronavirus Thursday.
The patient works in the mechanical engineering department at Technical University Kaiserslautern, the Wochenblatt newspaper reported, according to Stars and Stripes. Seventeen people with whom he was in close contact with in recent days are self-quarantined in their homes.
Military officials said they are tracking the coronavirus case in Kaiserslautern and added that the patient has no U.S. military affiliation, Stars and Stripes reported.
“We do anticipate that it’s just a matter of time before we see cases of our own,” Gino Mattorano, a spokesman for Regional Health Command Europe, told the news outlet.“We have been expecting this, and we are prepared to respond appropriately.”
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