Seven of the 21 U.S. coronavirus patients are here in northern California, and that could soon be eight of 22 with another suspected Humboldt County case.
The global coronavirus scare has reached scales that justify the paranoia surrounding it, with, as of today, now 76,000 people infected worldwide in 27 different countries, and north of 2,200 fatalities. Yes, they’re mostly in China, but the spread is concerning. The Center for Disease Control’s U.S. statistics issued this morning now break these patients down into three categories — confirmed U.S. cases who contracted the disease here (13 patients), persons reptriated from Wuhan, China (3 patients), and the unlucky infected cruise ship cases (18 patients).
Here in the Bay Area, we told you this morning that another patient had been moved to an unnamed San Francisco hospital. And it gets worse statewide, particularly in northern California, as KPIX reports as many as three new NorCal coronavirus cases reported in Sacramento and Humboldt Counties.
There are potentially two cases in Humboldt County, so we’ll turn to the Eureka Times-Standard which reports one confirmed Humboldt case, and another patient suspected and being tested. “We followed established protocols from the moment the patients arrived. They were admitted straight to a special isolation room that has negative pressure to minimize the risk of exposure,” St. Joseph Health CEO Dr. Roberta Luskin-Hawk said in a statement, noting that both have been released and are under home quarantine. A separate statement from Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) added that “Close contacts of these individuals will also be quarantined at home and monitored for symptoms by Public Health staff.”
Over in Sacramento County, the one confirmed patient identified had indeed recently traveled to China. “Cases in the U.S., including this first case in Sacramento County, have primarily been travel-related,” Sacramento County DHHS director Dr. Peter Beilenson told the Sacramento Bee. “The risk of COVID-19 to the U.S. public continues to be low. 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.”
(The World Health Organization has taken to calling the virus COVID-19.)
SFist will confess that the total number of U.S. cases is described differently in pretty each media report cited above, which is certainly furthers confusion. The CDC breaking patients down into three categories doesn’t help. Their advice on avoiding the disease is also maddeningly vague, and limited to “getting a flu vaccine, taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.”
Image: Scientific Animations via Wikimedia Commons