Coronavirus Update for Orange County

Coronavirus Update for Orange County

Dear Neighbor:

I know that the news reports about Coronavirus are truthfully distressing.  You may have heard that there is one reported case of coronavirus in Orange County. As your representative, I want to pass along helpful information from the State and County.

Tips to stay healthy from the California Department of Public Health

Per the OC Health Authority, the one reported case of coronavirus in Orange County is "a traveler from Wuhan, China, who has been in contact with the HCA and was provided guidance in order to reduce exposure to the public while awaiting laboratory confirmation from the CDC. The individual has now been transported to a local hospital and is in isolation in good condition." The risk of infection to the public is believed to be low.

We understand that there are concerns regarding the spread of the virus. OC Health has briefed our office, and we are remaining in close contact with state health authorities. Here is a list of FAQs from our Capitol briefing:

Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTION: What is a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

ANSWER: Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people which occurred with MERS and SARS. The outbreak in Wuhan China has been reported to be linked to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting a possible zoonotic origin to the outbreak.

QUESTION: Can 2019-nCoV spread from person-to-person?

ANSWER: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, suggesting person-to-person spread is occurring. Currently, it is unknown how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading.

QUESTION: How many people have become ill from 2019-nCoV?

ANSWER: Current data from the CDC is available here.

QUESTION: What are the symptoms of 2019-nCoV?

ANSWER: Typically, human coronaviruses cause mild-to-moderate respiratory illness. Symptoms are very similar to the flu, including: runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and shortness of breath.

QUESTION: How is 2019-nCoV diagnosed?

ANSWER: Health care providers will assess patients and if novel coronavirus infection is possible, they will do further testing. At this time, the only laboratory testing for the novel coronavirus is being done at the CDC's laboratory. If a patient is suspected to be infected, public health agencies will work with health care providers to ensure CDC testing can be completed.

QUESTION: What is the treatment for 2019-nCoV?

ANSWER: There are currently no vaccines available to protect you against coronavirus infection. Most people with illnesses due to common coronavirus infections recover on their own. There are no specific treatments for coronavirus infection. For patients who are more severely ill, hospitals can provide supportive care. We are learning more about this novel coronavirus and treatment may change over time.

QUESTION: What should someone do if they have symptoms?

ANSWER: If you have traveled to China, and you have become ill with fever, cough or shortness of breath, call your health care provider or local health department. Please be sure to tell your health care provider about your travel history. 

QUESTION: Where can the public get information about 2019-nCoV?

ANSWER: The CDC website and CDPH website. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to my office. We're always here to answer questions, and together we can keep our community healthy.