The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Wednesday that the first US case of novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in which a patient has not recently traveled overseas and has not been exposed to a known case, has been diagnosed in Northern California. “It’s possible this could be an instance of community spread of COVID-19, which would be the first time this has happened in the United States,” the CDC said in a press release.
The exact location of the patient has not been revealed.
California news about coronavirus is rapidly developing. On Wednesday it was reported that a woman who worked as a flight attendant for Korean Air servicing the route between Los Angeles and South Korea has been diagnosed with the Coronavirus. She flew between Los Angeles International Airport and Seoul, South Korea, on Feb. 19 and 20. “We’re disinfecting LAX every hour,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday. “We’re making sure that those points of entry and those places where we could see somebody come in and create a vector are secure as we can possibly make them, knowing you can never have 100% security.”
In Orange County, Supervisors and health officials gathered in a press conference Wednesday to declare the coronavirus a local emergency, the latest county to do so. The declaration of the local health emergency “expands our ability to respond in a flexible and nimble way,”said Dr. Nichole Quick of the OC Healthcare Agency. “If we exhaust our resources, the emergency declaration enables us to ask for aid more rapidly.”
Contra Costa Health Services confirmed that three patients with novel coronavirus are being treated at hospitals in the county, all transferred from Travis Air Force Base in Solano County. Two had been on the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined at Yokohama, Japan, while the third person was already quarantined at Travis and tested positive for coronavirus. That person was transferred to a hospital last week, but the information was not publicly disclosed. The cruise ship patients were transferred to Contra Costa County on Tuesday.
“Our county’s healthcare system is prepared to handle COVID-19,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County Health Officer. “We have been working with our hospital partners to follow safety protocols to keep patients and healthcare workers safe and minimize the risk of the virus spreading in Contra Costa.”
Fears over COVID-19 are running rampant in the US and around the world. A dire warning from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday said the new coronavirus is likely to spread in the United States, and residents should prepare for disruption of daily life.
Overseas, the number of coronavirus cases in Italy surged to 400, while France confirmed its first death and Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Spain, and Switzerland all confirmed new cases. Brazil reported the first case in Latin America. In the Middle East, the spread of coronavirus prompted Saudi Arabia to suspend religious visits to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, while some nations have closed their borders. China, where the virus emerged, reported 52 new deaths, while South Korea reported 284 new cases and mass testing of 200,000 people.
US tech companies are lowering their earnings forecasts because of coronavirus, and world financial markets are suffering including here in the US, where the Dow posted its worst two-day loss in four years.
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP
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