Although there are no incidents of novel coronavirus in Pasadena according to the city’s public health department, the first case of the virus has been confirmed in Los Angeles County according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
That person is currently receiving medical treatment. A patient has also been confirmed in Orange County. There are five confirmed cases in the United States.
More than 600 people are infected with the disease around the world.
The outbreak of the deadly virus began in Wuhan, China. In an effort to stop its spread, Chinese authorities locked down the city, affecting millions.
Chinese health minister Ma Xiaowei said at a press conference today that ‘it seems like the ability of the virus to spread is getting stronger.’ It can be transmitted from person-to-person during a 14-day incubation period.
In Los Angeles County, the Public Health Dept, said it is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal, state and local agencies to monitor the outbreak.
“This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available,” according to the county’s health department.
County Public Health officials are working to identify persons who may have had close personal contact with this individual, including any friends, family members or health care professionals, to monitor them for signs and symptoms of illness and to take measures to prevent spread of the virus.
One of the Southern California patients recently visited Wuhan.
On Friday the Huntington Hospital said it is screening all patients entering the facility for signs and symptoms of communicable diseases and has implemented infection prevention and control practices to protect patients, visitors, and staff.
The hospital statement went on to say that “everyone in the community should continue to follow basic infection prevention practices – including cleaning hands with soap and water or alcohol based hand rub, covering your cough, and avoiding close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.”
Pasadena Now interviewed the city’s health director Ying-Ying Goh before news of the Southern California patients were known.
“There are experts who create models estimating the course of outbreaks, but these are based on assumptions that may or may not actualize,” said Health Director Ying-Ying Goh. “We can’t make any definite predictions at this point. International outbreaks are usually declared over by the World Health organization after they no longer see transmission from person to person for a certain amount of time. The amount of time depends on the characteristics of a particular pathogen, and other factors.”