California confirmed three more cases of the coronavirus from China on Sunday, bringing the state’s total to six and the national total to 11, according to the California Department of Public Health.
One case involves a single person in Santa Clara County and the other involves a married couple in San Benito County.
The husband recently returned from a trip to Wuhan, China. Officials said his wife did not travel with him but still ended up sick, meaning person-to-person transmission likely occurred.
A surgical face mask and alcohol products out of stock sign is seen on the door of a pharmacy on Feb. 3, 2020. May James / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Neither of the 57-year-olds have left home since the husband’s trip, not even to go to a hospital. Officials are keeping them isolated and consulting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
We continue to monitor the situation closely to protect the health of San Benito County residents and limit the spread of this virus,” San Benito County Health Officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib said in a news release. “We are working closely with Bay Area health officials, local health care providers and community partners.”
Fenstersheib validated the seriousness of the coronavirus as a health threat. But he downplayed the risk to the general public in California.
Dr. Sonia Angell, California Public Health Department Director and State Health Officer, echoed Fenstersheib’s sentiments in a separate press release.
"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," she said.
Health and government officials held a press conference Monday in Carson, Calif. to address a letter that spread falsehoods about the virus spreading throughout the city.
They stressed none of the cases have been in Carson and that there is no outbreak in the city.
The letter featured logos of the CDC and World Health organization across the header, which would seem to legitimize the letter. Authorities are hoping to prosecute the person responsible for starting the hoax.
To combat the spread of the disease, health officials stress that the public should wash hands with liquid soap and water, cover their mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and stay home when sick.
As is the case with the flu, symptoms of coronavirus include fever, coughing, congestion and shortness of breath.
This story was reported from Atlanta. This station is owned by the Fox Corporation.