A confirmed case of Covid-19 of a person who appeared to not have relevant travel history to China or been exposed to another infected patient could be an instance of community spread of the coronavirus, said the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This was announced by CDC in a press statement on Wednesday (26 February) after the infected case was detected through the US public health system and was picked up by clinicians in California.
“At this time, the patient’s exposure is unknown. 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 statement read.
However, CDC also stated that the infected patient may have been exposed to a traveller who was infected with the disease.
According to the California Department of Public Health, the infected patient who is from Solano County – an area between San Francisco and Sacramento – is currently receiving medical care. Contact tracing of the infected case has already begun as well.
Following the confirmation of the case in California, the state health authority said, “We have been anticipating the potential for such a case in the U.S., and given our close familial, social and business relationships with China, it is not unexpected that the first case in the U.S. would be in California.”
The state health authority added, “That’s why California has been working closely with federal and local partners, including health care providers and hospitals since the outbreak was first reported in China — and we are already responding.”
The state health authority also indicated that the risk of coronavirus to the general public remains low at the moment.
Amid the threat of the virus to the country, CDC also said that the federal government has been working closely with state, local, tribal, territorial, and public health partners for the unprecedented efforts in mitigating the impact of the virus.
The new case of Covid-19 infection in California brings the total number of infected cases in the US to 15.