CDC confirms possible first case of community spread of COVID-19 in United States

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(NIAID-RML via AP)

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (ABC4 News) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed a possible first case of person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 in California in the general public.

The individual had no known exposure to the virus through travel or close contact with another known patient with COVID-19.

“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,” said the CDC in a statement Wednesday.

CDC officials said community spread means spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown. It’s also possible, however, that the patient may have been exposed to a returned traveler who was infected.

This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States to 15.

President Donald Trump said the U.S. is “very, very ready” for whatever the new coronavirus threat brings. He has put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of overseeing the nation’s response, working with the government’s top health authorities. 

HOW TO AVOID GETTING SICK

Health officials say as with any virus, especially during the flu season, the Health Department reminds you there are a number of steps you can take to protect your health and those around you:

  • Washing hands with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick are all ways to reduce the risk of infection with a number of different viruses.
  • Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.

For more information about COVID-19 visit www.cdc.gov/covid19

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