US Confirms First Case of Coronavirus From Unknown Origin

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that a resident from Northern California has contracted the coronavirus without traveling outside the United States or coming in contact with another patient known to have the infection — the first sign that the disease may be spreading within a local community. The Sacramento Bee reports: “It is a confirmed case. There is one in Northern California,” CDC spokesman Scott Pauley told The Sacramento Bee just before 4 p.m. Wednesday. In the Northern California case, “the individual is a resident of Solano County and is receiving medical care in Sacramento County. The individual had no known exposure to the virus through travel or close contact with a known infected individual,” California Department of Public Health officials said in a news release Wednesday evening. State public health officials in Sacramento, citing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the case is the first person-to-person transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

Earlier cases of person-to-person transmission in Illinois and in San Benito County came “after close, prolonged interaction with a family member who returned from Wuhan, China, and had tested positive for COVID-19,” California Department of Public Health officials said in their Wednesday statement. Dr. Sonia Angell, the state’s public health officer, called the outbreak an “evolving situation” that the state had been monitoring since the first cases in China late last year. but added “there is a lot we already know.” “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,” Angell said in prepared remarks. Earlier today, President Trump announced that Vice President Mike Pence will lead the government’s response to the virus. In the rare White House address, Trump maintained that the risk to the U.S. from the virus “remains very low.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.