WASHINGTON — Health officials in Southern California have confirmed a third U.S. case of the new pneumonia-like virus from Wuhan, China.
The Orange County Health Care Agency said Saturday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed a traveler from the epicenter of the outbreak in China tested positive for the virus. The case comes on the heels of confirmed cases in Washington state and Chicago.
The patient is in isolation at a hospital and in good condition. The local health agency is monitoring people who have had close contact with the patient.
As the Associated Press points out, the virus, a member of the coronavirus family, carries symptoms like coughing, wheezing, pneumonia and fever. It is a close cousin to the deadly SARS and MERS viruses that have caused outbreaks in the past.
The CDC, who are screening passengers on direct flights from Wuhan to five major airports in the U.S., says they expect more Americans to be diagnosed with this new virus. It has an incubation period of about two weeks.
The patient reportedly contacted local health officials in Orange County, California who gave guidance on how to reduce exposure, while they waited for laboratory results to come back. The CDC says that people who have casual contact with the patient are at "minimal risk," according to a release put out by the agency.