A coronavirus patient in Northern California wasn't tested for the virus for several days after arriving at the hospital, according to news reports. This patient may be the first known case in the U.S. to catch the virus through community spread.
The patient arrived at UC Davis Medical Center on Feb. 19, after being transferred from another hospital, according to the Los Angeles Times. At that time, the patient's medical team asked public health officials if this could be a case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new virus, according to a statement from the medical center. The medical team then requested COVID-19 testing for this patient from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, because the patient did not fit the CDC's existing criteria for testing for COVID-19, a test wasn't administered right away, the statement said.
It wasn't until Sunday (Feb. 23) that the CDC ordered testing for the patient, and on Wednesday (Feb. 26), the agency confirmed the patient tested positive.
—See live updates on the new coronavirus (opens in new tab)
—How deadly is COVID-19? (opens in new tab)
—How does the new coronavirus compare with flu? (opens in new tab)
—Why are children 'missing' from coronavirus outbreak? (opens in new tab)
Throughout the patient's stay, the medical team took proper precautions to prevent the spread of a viral respiratory infection, and the patient was placed under even more strict precautions starting on Feb. 23. Because of this, "we believe there has been minimal potential for exposure here at UC Davis Medical Center," the statement said.
Still, as an additional precaution, the medical center is asking a small number of employees to stay home from work and monitor their temperature.
Prior to arriving at UC Davis Medical Center, the patient was treated at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville, California, according to The Washington Post. She arrived at that hospital on Feb. 15 with flu-like symptoms.
NorthBay is now monitoring the health of dozens of its staff who may have had contact with the patient, the Post reported. Those who had direct contact with the patient have been tested for the new coronavirus, and so far, none have tested positive.
- The 9 deadliest viruses on Earth
- 28 devastating infectious diseases
- 11 surprising facts about the respiratory system
Originally published on Live Science.
OFFER: Save at least 53% with our latest magazine deal! (opens in new tab)
With impressive cutaway illustrations that show how things function, and mindblowing photography of the world’s most inspiring spectacles, How It Works (opens in new tab) represents the pinnacle of engaging, factual fun for a mainstream audience keen to keep up with the latest tech and the most impressive phenomena on the planet and beyond. Written and presented in a style that makes even the most complex subjects interesting and easy to understand, How It Works (opens in new tab) is enjoyed by readers of all ages.