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Novel Coronavirus

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed the first case of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Los Angeles County. The infected person presented themselves for care once they noticed that they were not feeling well and is currently receiving medical treatment. There is no immediate threat to the general public, no special precautions are required, and people should not be excluded from activities based on their race, country of origin, or recent travel if they do not have symptoms of respiratory illness. Los Angeles residents, students, workers, and visitors should continue to engage in their regular activities and practice good public health hygiene as this is the height of flu season across the County. Public Health is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal, state and local agencies to monitor this novel coronavirus that has emerged from Wuhan, China over the past few weeks. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.

This is the only cases of 2019 novel coronavirus in LA County. There are currently 4 cases in the United States.

What is a coronavirus? Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes diseases of varying severities, ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory disease. A novel (new) coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that hasn’t been identified before in humans.

Who gets coronavirus? Coronaviruses are normally found in animals but can be spread to humans. Some coronaviruses are also spread from person to person.

How is coronavirus spread? Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

  • coughing and sneezing

  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands

  • touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands rarely, fecal contamination

  • Novel coronavirus is new, and we are learning more each day about transmission patterns and incubation periods.

  • People who have traveled to Wuhan, China since December 1, 2019, could have been exposed to the virus. Seek medical care if you traveled to Wuhan and develop a fever or respiratory symptoms within 14 days of your return. People who have been in close contact with a person who has a confirmed case of novel coronavirus should seek medical care if they develop fever or respiratory symptoms.

What are the symptoms of the disease? Fever, Cough, Difficulty breathing. Severe illness Complications and outcomes of this virus are still being investigated.

How is novel coronavirus treated? There is no specific treatment for illness caused by a novel coronavirus. However, many of the symptoms can be treated. Treatment will be based on the patient’s condition. There is no vaccine for novel coronavirus.

The LA County Department of Public Health is working closely with state and federal agencies as well as LAX, local ambulance agencies, hospitals, and healthcare providers to best be prepared and protect every member of the community.

Since there is a case in LA County, what can I do to protect myself? Based on current information, even though there is a case in Los Angeles and there are likely to be additional cases, the risk of transmission of coronavirus within LA County remains low. People should continue to engage in their regular activities if they are not ill. As with other respiratory illnesses, there are steps that everyone can take to reduce the risk of getting sick from circulating viruses including remaining home when ill, washing hands with soap and water frequently, and covering coughs and sneezes.

Visit PublicHealth.LACounty.Gov for updates and more information.


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