Sus­pi­cious new case in Solano County

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - FRONT PAGE - By Lisa Krieger

A Solano County res­i­dent ap­pears to be the na­tion’s first case of per­son-to-per­son trans­mis­sion of coro­n­avirus, fu­el­ing con­cern that the ill­ness could spread un­de­tected in the com­mu­nity.

Un­like other cases, the per­son did not re­cently re­turn from a for­eign coun­try or have con­tact with a per­son who was known to be sick or in­fected, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol.

Such per­son-to-per­son trans­mis­sion is wor­ri­some be­cause a virus is much harder to con­trol once is spreads in of­fices, schools and other com­mu­nity sites. It dif­fers from other cases cur­rently in the U.S., where in­fec­tion was de­tected in known trav­el­ers who were safely quar­an­tined.

This case, now be­ing treated in Sacra­mento County, was de­tected through the U.S. pub­lic health sys­tem — picked up by as­tute clin­i­cians, ac­cord­ing to the CDC.

Health of­fi­cials are now track­ing down con­tacts of the pa­tient, as well as in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether pa­tient was un­know­ingly ex­posed to a re­turned trav­eler who was in­fected.

This means that the U.S. joins other na­tions where the virus is ap­pear­ing with­out a known source of ex­po­sure, such as Hong Kong, Italy, Iran, Sin­ga­pore, South Korea, Tai­wan, and Thai­land.

The news came as Pres­i­dent

Don­ald Trump spoke at an evening news con­fer­ence in which he was op­ti­mistic about the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ef­forts to pre­vent the spread of the dis­ease, pre­dict­ing cases would drop “down to zero in a few

days,” but vow­ing the U.S. is ready to han­dle an out­break, should it come.

Does this mean that the coro­n­avirus out­break could pose a threat to you and your fam­ily?

Yes, no and maybe.

For the first time, the num­ber of new coro­n­avirus in­fec­tions out­side China has sur­passed those in­side the coun­try, with new

hotspots in sev­eral coun­tries such as Italy and South Korea, where the ill­ness was di­ag­nosed in a South Korean flight at­ten­dant who may have ser­viced trips be­tween Seoul and Los An­ge­les last week, ac­cord­ing to sev­eral South Korean me­dia out­lets.

But 14 coun­tries have not re­ported a new case in more than a week — and even more im­por­tantly, nine coun­tries have not re­ported a case for more than two weeks.

Health of­fi­cials in­sist the risk to Amer­i­cans re­mains low. Hun­dreds of

peo­ple who were air­lifted from China to the U.S. last month were given a clean bill of health and al­lowed to leave quar­an­tine. About 60 peo­ple have tested pos­i­tive — most of them among pas­sen­gers on a Di­a­mond Princess cruise ship in Ja­pan who were brought back to the U.S. ear­lier this month.

The vast ma­jor­ity of con­firmed cases are con­sid­ered mild, in­volv­ing mere cold-like symp­toms to mild pneu­mo­nia. But the ill­ness can be cat­a­strophic for five per­cent of pa­tients, par­tic­u­larly the el­derly.

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