Saturday, December 4

First case of 2019 novel coronavirus in Los Angeles County confirmed

This post was updated Jan. 27 at 12:23 a.m.

There are now two confirmed cases of 2019 novel coronavirus in Southern California.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed the first case of 2019 novel coronavirus in Los Angeles County, according to a LAC DPH press release published Sunday morning. The Orange County Health Care Agency confirmed the first case of 2019-nCoV in California on Saturday.

The 2019 novel coronavirus, commonly referred to as 2019-nCoV, was identified as the reason behind an outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan, China, which has been ongoing since December, according to a press release by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the new strain of coronavirus has spread to over 2,000 individuals in 14 countries and territories and caused 56 deaths.
Both California cases were returning travelers from Wuhan. They are currently receiving treatment and there is no immediate threat to the public, according to the LAC DPH and the OC Health Care Agency.

The first case of the virus in the United States, a patient in Washington, was confirmed by the CDC on Tuesday. As of Sunday, there are five total confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in the United States, with patients in Arizona and Illinois in addition to the three in Washington and California, according to the CDC. All cases were returning travelers from Wuhan.

“Los Angeles residents, students, workers and visitors should continue to engage in their regular activities and practice good public health hygiene as this is the height of flu season across the county,” the release stated.

Citizens should not be prohibited from any activity based on their race, country of origin or recent travel if they are not experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, the LAC DPH stated.

Coronavirus cases commonly result in mild to moderate infections of the upper respiratory tract, like the common cold, according to the CDC. The virus, which has reached the U.S. during flu season, shares many influenza symptoms, such as cough and fever.

According to a UCLA Health statement emailed to students Thursday, students experiencing these symptoms who have recently traveled to Wuhan or have had contact with people from the region should call the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center at (310) 206-6217.

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