County health officials monitor spread of COVID-19

According to health officials, COVID-19 has spread to Southern California with one case each in Orange and Los Angeles counties. The virus originated in Wuhan, China.

Riverside County health officials are working with state and federal representatives to monitor the cases of COVID-19 from the Wuhan, China, outbreak.

Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said there have been no confirmed cases in Riverside County. Health officials recently announced the illness, which originated in Wuhan, China, has spread to Southern California with one case each in Orange and Los Angeles counties.

“It’s understandable Riverside County residents would be anxious with all the media reports about the growing number of cases, but I want the community to know everything is being done to prevent the illness from spreading here,” Kaiser said. “At this time we have no evidence these individuals had contacts in Riverside County during the period they would be contagious.”

Kaiser said the incubation period for COVID-19 and other related coronaviruses seems to be around two weeks.

Even though travel from Wuhan has been closed by the Chinese government, it seems likely there will be additional cases detected in California, officials said.

“As nCoV has substantial similarities to the SARS virus from 2002, which is also a coronavirus, we are treating it with similar urgency,” Kaiser said.

Kaiser said the Department of Public Health will be coordinating with schools, hospitals, and the emergency medical system to ensure a uniform and fast response if a case is identified in Riverside County. “We will be ready if we get one,” he said.

Kaiser is scheduled to update the Riverside County Board of Supervisors on the activities surrounding COVID-19 at its meeting on January 28.


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