Santa Clara County health officials Friday announced their third case of the novel coronavirus that has killed thousands and alarmed health officials and investors around the world.
More troubling, sources said it is unknown how the person became infected, marking only the second U.S. case in which the source of infection is unknown, suggesting the virus may be circulating in the community.
Santa Clara County health officials had no details about the case but said they would discuss it later this afternoon. The Washington Post reported that it involves a 65-year-old person who hadn’t traveled to China or other areas with outbreaks, or known contact with someone who has the virus.
The news comes after health officials Wednesday confirmed that a woman in Solano County also had become infected with no known exposure to the disease through travel to China where the outbreak was first reported or other overseas hotspots, the first such U.S. case.
This would be the 63rd confirmed case in the U.S. Of those, 44 were people who had been aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship and repatriated to the U.S., three were repatriated from Wuhan, 12 were people who had recently traveled in China and two caught it from a close family member. This week’s two cases in Solano and Santa Clara counties involved people with no known exposure risk.
This would be the third case of the novel coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, in Santa Clara County. County officials announced their first case, and the first in Northern California, on Jan. 31. That involved a local man who had recently returned from travel to China.
That patient never required hospitalization and was monitored and treated at home. County health officials declared him fully recovered Feb. 20.
A second case in Santa Clara County involved a woman who also had recently returned from travel in China and was visiting relatives in the county. She was confirmed infected Feb. 2 but did not require hospitalization and has been described in good condition. County officials said Friday that she remains under observation with restricted travel at home.
The only other confirmed cases in the South Bay were a San Benito County couple in which county officials said Feb. 2 that the husband had been declared sick upon returning from travel from China and his wife caught the disease from him, marking the first case of person-to-person transmission in California.
They couple were briefly hospitalized in San Francisco but released in good condition Feb. 14. San Benito County health officials had no update on their status Friday.
Second U.S. coronavirus case of unknown origin confirmed in Santa Clara County