Santa Clara County health officials announced Sunday that a woman who recently traveled to Wuhan, China, has been infected with the new strain of coronavirus, marking the second confirmed case of the virus in the county and the fourth in California.
Two days earlier, a male resident of the county who had traveled to Wuhan was also infected with the virus, health officials said. Two other confirmed cases in the state have been reported in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
The new Santa Clara County case involves a woman who arrived in the U.S. on Jan. 23 to visit family, officials said. She has stayed home since she arrived, except for two trips to seek outpatient medical care. She has been regularly monitored and was never sick enough to be hospitalized.
Family members have also been isolated, which means that they do not leave the house, even to buy groceries, officials said. The county health department is providing food and other necessary items.
“I understand that people are concerned, but based on what we know today, the risk to general public remains low,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County health officer. “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.”
The new strain of coronavirus has killed more than 300 people since it emerged in Wuhan in late December. Nine cases have now been confirmed in the United States and more than 14,600 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. The vast majority of the infections have occurred in China.
On Friday, the Trump administration said it was declaring a public health crisis and restricting travel from China to the U.S .
Starting Sunday, foreign nationals who recently visited China won’t be allowed to enter the U.S., and American citizens returning from mainland China will be subject to 14-day quarantines. Nearly 200 people who left Wuhan fleeing the virus were evacuated to March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County and quarantined.
Though the new coronavirus has generated a worldwide scare and led to a dramatic drop in the stock market of more than 600 points, health officials say the risk of being sickened with influenza remains an exponentially greater threat to most Americans. The flu has killed more than 10,000 Americans since October, according to federal data released Friday.