CALIFORNIA, USA — Health officials say new coronavirus case in California could be the first in the U.S. that has no known connection to travel abroad or another known case, a possible sign the virus is spreading in a community.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the case Wednesday night. California officials said the person is a resident of Solano County and is getting medical care in Sacramento County.
An email from UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento said the patient arrived last week but the CDC waited four days before testing for the virus.
Health Officials said risk from novel coronavirus to the general public remains low at this time.
“Keeping Californians safe and healthy is our number one priority,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, Director of the California Department of Public Health and State Public Health Officer.
While COVID-19 has a high transmission rate, it has a low mortality rate.
News out of California comes as The World Health Organization said the number of new cases reported outside China exceeded the number of new cases in China for the first time. Worries over the economic fallout from the disease are multiplying.
Amid fears of mass gatherings where germs could easily spread, some are even questioning the fate of the Olympics, due to open in Tokyo in five months. A growing list of countries have cases of the virus, which has sickened about 81,000 people around the globe.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the U.S. is “very, very ready” for whatever the new coronavirus threat brings. He has put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of overseeing the nation's response, working with the government's top health authorities.
Trump has been pushing back against criticism that his administration isn't doing enough to meet the coronavirus threat.
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers are calling for much more money than the $2.5 billion the White House has requested, and Trump indicated at a news conference that he'd be open to more spending.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has asked for $8.5 billion.
As of Wednesday, including the case out of Solano County, California has had 7 travel-related cases, one close contact case, and now one community transmission.
As with any virus, especially during the flu season, the Health Department reminds you there are a number of steps you can take to protect your health and those around you:
- Washing hands with soap and water.
- Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick are all ways to reduce the risk of infection with a number of different viruses.
- Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.