SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — Santa Clara County health officials announced Sunday a female patient who was visiting family in the Bay Area from China has become the county’s second confirmed case of coronavirus.
Meanwhile, San Benito County health officials announced that a husband and wife have also tested positive for the illness. Of more concern was that health officials said the husband, who had recently returned from Wuhan, had infected his wife with the disease.
“We continue to monitor the situation closely to protect the health of San Benito County residents and limit the spread of this virus,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, San Benito County Health Officer. “We are working closely with Bay Area health officials, local health care providers and community partners.”
There are now 11 confirmed U.S. cases of coronavirus.
Santa Clara officials said the new Bay Area case was not related to the county’s first coronavirus patient announced last week. Both patients had recently traveled to Wuhan.
The new patient, health officials said, was a visitor who arrived from China on Jan. 23. She has stayed home since she arrived, except for two times to seek outpatient medical care. She has been regularly monitored and was never sick enough to be hospitalized
Her family members have also been isolated, which means that they do not leave the house, even to buy groceries. The Public Health Department has been providing the family with food and other necessary items.
“I understand that people are concerned but, based on what we know today, the risk to the general public remains low,” said Dr. Sara Cody, health officer with the county of Santa Clara.
“A second case is not unexpected. With our large population and the amount of travel to China for both personal and business reasons, we will likely see more cases, including close contacts to our cases,” Dr. Cody said.
The first case in the Bay Area was a man who traveled to Wuhan and Shanghai before returning Jan. 24 to California, where he became ill, Cody said Friday.
The man was never sick enough to be hospitalized and “self-isolated” by staying home, she said.
The man left home twice to seek outpatient care at a local clinic and a hospital. Public health officials are now trying to reach anyone he may have come into contact with during those times to assess whether they were exposed to the virus.
Those people, along with the few members of his household, will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
Health officials believe it can take up to two weeks for someone who is infected to get sick.
The virus, which presents with flu-like symptoms, is thought to have spread from animals to humans, perhaps at a large seafood and animal market in Wuhan.
As of Saturday, the virus has sickened at least 17,205 people in China and killed 361, according to the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic China.
The World Health Organization reported Saturday that there were 132 confirmed cases in 23 countries outside of China.
On Friday, Alex Azar, head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, declared a public health emergency due to the spread of the virus and said that anyone who had traveled to Hubei Province in China, where Wuhan is located, within the past two weeks will be subject to a quarantine of up to 14 days.
Anyone who has been in the rest of mainland China will be required to undergo health screenings at one of seven airports: San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago and Honolulu.
Also, foreign citizens who have been in China and “pose a risk” of transmitting the virus, except those who are immediate family of American citizens, will be denied entry into the U.S.
© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.