Health officials monitor potential case of coronavirus in San Diego County

One person is in isolation at home in San Diego County after they were tested for a new strain of coronavirus after traveling to an area of China affected by an outbreak of the virus.

On Sunday, the potential case was reported to the county’s health agency, and after consulting with a hospital, a specimen was collected and sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the only entity currently capable of testing for this novel coronavirus, according to the county.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats and bats.

2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, according to the CDC. In China, there have been almost 2,800 confirmed cases of the virus and 80 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

On Sunday, the California Department of Public Health confirmed that one person in Los Angeles County and another in Orange County tested positive for the virus.


Health officials in San Diego County anticipate getting the patient’s test results back Tuesday. Overall, the immediate health risk from nCoV 2019 to the general public is low.

“The risk of infection for the general public is minimal,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego County public health officer. “If you have not traveled to an area where the virus has been detected or had close contact with a patient who tested positive for this type of coronavirus, the risk of infection is very low.”