The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed Wednesday a potential case of infection with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in California in a person not associated with relevant travel history or exposure to another known infected patient.
According to a media statement, CDC said:
At this time, the patient’s exposure is unknown. It’s possible this could be an instance of community spread of COVID-19, which would be the first time this has happened in the United States. Community spread means spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown. It’s also possible, however, that the patient may have been exposed to a returned traveler who was infected.
According to the health agency, the case was identified through the public health system “by astute clinicians.”
“This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States to 15,” CDC noted.
According to a report at the Washington Post, just moments after President Donald Trump’s announcement that Vice President Mike Pence would be heading a task force on the coronavirus, CDC confirmed the new case was a person in northern California who had neither traveled outside the United States nor come in contact with another infected individual.
Trump reassured Americans that the nation was prepared to deal with further spread of the coronavirus if that occurred.
“We are ready to adapt and we’re ready to do whatever we have to as the disease spreads, if it spreads,” he said, as Breitbart News reported.
The president also thanked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar for overseeing the task force and touted the “tremendous success” of the effort to contain the virus.