Health officials confirm 6 cases of novel coronavirus in California

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Travelers arrive to LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal wearing medical masks for protection against the novel coronavirus outbreak on February 2, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The United States has declared a pub

According to the California Department of Public Health, they have confirmed a new case of novel coronavirus 2019 in Santa Clara County on Sunday.

In addition, two more cases have been confirmed in San Benito County, bringing California's number of confirmed cases to six. This information is confirmed by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, the San Benito County Public Health Department and the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laboratory.

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Those sickened are husband and wife, and both are 57 years of age. One spouse traveled to China and one who did not. This marks the first instance of close household person-to-person transmission of novel coronavirus in California. There is no evidence of person-to-person transmission in the general public in California.

Currently, the California Department of Public Health confirms a total of six cases of novel coronavirus in California: two people in Santa Clara County, two people in San Benito County, one person in Los Angeles County and one person in Orange County have tested positive for novel coronavirus 2019.

This brings the U.S. total to 11.

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According to a stametment released by the California Department of Public Health:

"The California Department of Public Health is closely coordinating with the CDC and local partners to address novel coronavirus 2019 and we are prepared," said Dr. Sonia Angell, California Public Health Department Director and State Health Officer.

"The novel coronavirus is a serious public health concern, however the risk to the general public in California remains low. We have had only one case of person-to-person transmission here and it was from a traveler to China to a spouse. Both are in stable condition.

"It is very important for people who have recently traveled and who become ill to notify their health care provider of their travel history. Those who have recently traveled to China or who have had contact with a person with possible novel coronavirus infection should contact their local health department or health care provider. 

The Department of Public Health has been prepared and is continuing with the following actions:

Providing information about the outbreak and how to report suspect cases to local health departments and health care providers in California.

Coordinating with federal authorities who plan to quarantine passengers returning to the U.S. from Hubei Province, China, through SFO and LAX.

Assuring that health care providers know how to safely manage persons with possible novel coronavirus 2019 infection.

Supporting hospitals and local public health laboratories for collection and shipment of specimens for testing at CDC for novel coronavirus 2019.

Activating the Department of Public Health's Emergency Operations Center to coordinate response efforts across the state.

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.

Avoiding 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.

The California Department of Public Health will not be providing additional information about these patients beyond what is being shared by the Santa Clara County and San Benito public health departments.

For more information about novel coronavirus, please visit the CDPH website.

The U.S. State Department has issued a "do not travel" warning to China as concerns grow over the coronavirus outbreak, and the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global emergency.

There is no immediate threat to the general public.