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'Risk is extremely low for Sacramento County' | First case of coronavirus confirmed in Sacramento County

The Sacramento County resident returned from China on Feb. 2.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento has its first confirmed case of coronavirus [COVID-19], according to Sacramento County Public Health officials.

A person from Sacramento County was visiting China last month, outside of the city of Wuhan, and landed at the San Francisco International Airport on February 2nd. That's when that person's spouse picked them up and drove them to their home in Sacamento County, where they decided to self-quarantine as a precaution.

The person began exhibiting mild symptoms during their quarantine period and after consulting with the individual's doctor, the Sacramento County Public Health coordinated testing with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] and the California Department of Public Health [CDPH]. A clinical specimen was collected from the individual and sent to CDC where laboratory testing confirmed the infection, according to Sacramento County Public Health. 

The resident is not showing any symptoms at this time, Sacramento County Public Health said. They will remain home for mandatory isolation until cleared by Sacramento County Public Health. 

The age and sex of the person infected has not been released, but officials did say the person is now legally required to stay in "isolation" at their own home until they can provide two consecutive negative tests, which may take one to four weeks.

The public's risk of exposure to COVID-19 is extremely low, according to county health investigators.

“Cases in the U.S., including this first case in Sacramento County, have primarily been travel-related. The risk of COVID-19 to the U.S. public continues to be low," said Dr. Peter Beilenson, director of the Sacramento County Department of Health Services. "Sacramento County health providers are continuing to be vigilant, monitoring for acute respiratory illness, and gathering recent travel information to detect any new COVID-19 cases.”

Doctors say that, while the risk is little to none for this virus in Sacramento County at this time, the risk is much higher for coming down with the flu.

Beilenson says chances are slim that other people got infected on this person's flight back from China, because they took precautionary measures like wearing a mask and washing their hands. 

However, a public health investigation is still being done right now to ensure the safety of the others who landed in San Francisco.

As of Feb. 21, there are 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 first identified on United States' soil, according to the CDC. Health officials confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Napa County on Tuesday after a local hospital took in a patient from Travis Air Force Base after they were flown in from Japan. 

Globally, there are 76,769 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization. 

(Editor's Note: A previous version of this story contained additional comments from Dr. Beilenson on the COVID-19 case, however, after communication with Sacramento County Public Health and the patient's doctor, those comments have been removed due as the situation as been clarified.)



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