South Korean flight attendant developed coronavirus symptoms after leaving Los Angeles

Korean Air
(Jason La / Los Angeles Times)

A South Korean flight attendant who was diagnosed with novel coronavirus in her home country was not symptomatic during a recent visit to Los Angeles County and posed no health risk to others while here, public health officials said Friday.

South Korean news media had reported that the flight attendant might have worked flights between Seoul and Los Angeles. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that she did not develop symptoms until after she left Los Angeles, the county Department of Public Health said in a statement.

There are no new cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19, in the county and no evidence of person-to-person spread, according to the statement, which noted that the immediate health risk from exposure remains low. But officials said more cases of coronavirus are likely to occur here, amid other respiratory illnesses such as the flu.

“Respiratory infections predominantly spread when people are sick with fever and cough [and] are in contact with others,” said Barbara Ferrer, county public health director. “Everyone should stay at home when they’re sick. This requires our employers and schools to be flexible when staff and students are sick and need to stay home.”

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