An outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified starting in Wuhan, China. Some patients have had mild illness, while others have been more severe and some have died.
The California Department of Public Health (the Public Health Department) understands there are concerns about novel coronavirus, and understandably so. Although coronaviruses are a group of viruses that aren’t new, this is a new type of coronavirus and we are still learning about it. However, the health risk to the general public in California remains low. While COVID-19 has a high transmission rate, it has a low mortality rate. From the international data we have, of those who have tested positive for COVID-19, approximately 80 percent do not exhibit symptoms that would require hospitalization. California is carefully assessing the situation as it evolves.
We are actively working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with local governments, and health care providers across the state to protect your health.
As of March 2, 2020, there are a total of 43 positive cases in California: 24 are from repatriation flights. The other 19 confirmed cases include ten that are travel related, two due to person-to-person exposure from family contact, three due to person-to-person exposure in a health care facility and four from unknown sources. Approximately 300 persons have been tested to date.
The California Department of Public Health recommends the following steps to prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses: