Confirmed: First Case of Novel Coronavirus in Los Angeles County

One day after confirmation of the first 2019-nCov case in Orange County, authorities in adjacent Los Angeles County announced the presence of a patient at a local hospital.

The L.A. County patient is a Wuhan resident who was flying through Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday on his way back to China, L.A. County public health officials said during a news conference Sunday.

“The infected person presented themselves immediately for care at LAX airport once they noticed they weren’t feeling well,” said L.A. County public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer. The patient was taken from LAX directly to a hospital, and no L.A. County residents were infected or at risk as of Sunday morning, Ferrer said.

As of Friday, 18 people between the ages of 3 and 58 had been tested for the virus in California, according to the state’s Department of Public Health. They included a traveler who arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on a flight from Mexico City and was taken to a hospital early Thursday for an evaluation.

L.A. County public health officials could not confirm whether the Mexico City traveler was the same one with the virus.

The newly identified virus now being referred to as 2019-nCov can cause pneumonia-like symptoms, including fever, coughing and shortness of breath. It can be deadly to older individuals, particularly those with existing preconditions, such as a weak immune system.

Dr. Sonia Angell, director of the California Department of Public Health, said in a statement Sunday that the immediate health risk to the general public in California is low.

The latest update from the CDC says there are five confirmed 2019-nCov cases in the United States, as of Sunday, January 26, 2020.