China’s new coronavirus is rapidly spreading in the country, and the number of cases confirmed in other countries continues to rise as well. US citizens traveling through China and hoping to return home have had to grapple with the increasingly complicated situation, and it looks like things are going to get worse before they get better.
New travel restrictions were just put in place over the weekend that will directly affect anyone hoping to enter the US from China. The new restrictions include limitations on which airport passengers can be flown to within the country, as well as a potential two-week quarantine period once they land.
Passengers flying into the US are being questions about any recent trips to China, including whether they have been to the country at any time in the previous 14 days. There are now just 11 airports in the United States that will accept passengers from China, and those destinations have measures in place to screen travelers and the power to place them under strict quarantine if necessary.
The coronavirus is capable of spreading from person to person even if no symptoms are present, making it difficult to detect in newly-arriving passengers. A two-week quarantine can give health officials peace of mind that travelers are indeed virus-free before allowing them to return to their lives in the United States.
Meanwhile, doctors and scientists have been doing their best to contain the outbreak while also working on vaccines and experimenting with drugs that could lessen symptoms or even cure and kill the virus outright.
As CNN reports, Thailand Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told reporters that a 71-year-old woman who was confirmed to have a coronavirus infection was treated with a combination of drugs used to treat flu and HIV/AIDS. According to the officials, the woman had the most severe symptoms of all the coronavirus patients in the country, and after treatment, she was tested and shown to be free of the virus.
The reports don’t offer much in the way of specifics regarding the dosages of the drugs that were administered, though the officials did note that the drugs were administered in higher amounts than is typical. It’s also not immediately clear how long the woman was treated or how rapidly her infections cleared up.
With that first seemingly successful trial under its belt, Thailand is now treating a second confirmed coronavirus patient with the same drug combo in the hopes of verifying its effectiveness. The doctors working in Thailand say they hope that this research can be used elsewhere and, ideally, reduce infection numbers and save lives in the process.