California’s first case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Orange County after a traveler from Wuhan, China — ground zero for the novel disease — tested positive, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.
That patient was taken to a local hospital, is in isolation and in good condition, according to a written statement from the agency.
At 11 p.m. Saturday, the agency announced that its Communicable Disease Control Division received confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the case, and that the traveler “has been provided guidance to reduce exposure to the public while awaiting laboratory confirmation.”
In consultation with the CDC and the California Department of Public Health, county health officials are now contacting people who have had close contact with the patient, which could put them at risk of infection.
The agency said it will also monitor any close contacts the patient has had and assure that proper evaluation and care is provided if someone becomes ill.
It was the first case of the disease reported in California and only the third in the United States. The other U.S. cases were reported in Illinois and Washington state.
The CDC’s guidance indicates people who have casual contact with a case — “in the same grocery store or movie theater” — are at “minimal risk of developing infection.”
It was not disclosed where and how the traveler entered into the country or into Orange County.
The HCA said there is no evidence that person-to-person transmission has occurred in Orange County and the current risk of local transmission remains low.
No additional details about the case will be immediately released, according to the HCA.