Health workers check the temperature of a person in Beijing, China
By Angela Song
February 3, 2020
The health officials in California confirmed the fourth case of coronavirus in Los Angeles on January 26, 2020. The person diagnosed with the virus was a returning traveler from Wuhan, China who carried the virus with him to the US. This is the fourth case of coronavirus to be confirmed in the United States. Bringing awareness of the fatal virus is significant as it is spreading rapidly.
The coronavirus is also known as 3029-nCoV and can cause respiratory infections. China first reported the virus on December 31, 2020, to the World Health Organization. There are five confirmed cases in the US so far in Arizona, Washington, Illinois, and two in California. Dr. Sharon Balter, director of the L.A. County Public Health Department’s Acute Communicable Disease Control Program, assured the public to not worry about the new virus.
She said, “Everything worked as it should, the patient presented for care, the patient was immediately transported to a local hospital, the patient has remained in the hospital.”
Although the symptoms of the new virus vary from person to person, the common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The symptoms may appear after two to 14 days after exposure. Dr. Ferrer warned the public to be alert to the new virus.
“If you’re sick, if you’re coughing, if you’re sneezing, you need to stay away from other people,” Dr. Ferrrer said.
The virus has spread to 17,488 people across more than 25 countries including China, the United States, India, South Korea, Russia, Germany, and Spain and caused 362 deaths since February 3rd, 2020. How little that is known about the virus causes it to be a great threat to the world. Anne W. Rimoin, an epidemiologist at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and director of the UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, believes “there are important unanswered questions about this outbreak,”
“We don’t know how easily people transmit the virus or how ill it can make otherwise healthy people. We just don’t know the true risks posed by this new virus, and these are the questions that will need to be answered” she added.
Many experts believe that the new virus is not as fatal as it appears. Dr. Tom Inglesby, Director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health says. He believes that thousands of people in China may be diagnosed with coronavirus but have small symptoms that are not as noticeable or identifiable as the coronavirus.
“It’s too soon to know,” he said. “Often in new outbreaks, the most serious or severe cases are recognized first.”
Dr. Vu Huynh, a medical director of emergency services in California, disagrees with Mina and Dr. Inglesby.
She said, “There could have been a lot of cases that weren’t caught at the beginning, and maybe those patients traveled, with Southern California being a multicultural area, so there’s more risk.” she added