Confirmed on March 5, says county health department
The first known case of the COVID-19 corona virus in the Central Valley was confirmed March 5 in a Madera County resident who had recently traveled aboard a Princess Cruise ship and returned, according to a recent press release by the Madera County Public Health Department.
The statement went on to say the incident of the COVID-19 Corona virus was an isolated, travel related case and the two individuals had been in self quarantine and monitored at their Madera County home since returning about two weeks prior.
When one of the couple developed fever and other symptoms they were told to drive to the Madera Community Hospital where they were masked and lead into an isolation room for testing. The person is reportedly currently now in stable condition, with no information being released on the location of the individual. A Fresno County resident has also recently tested positive for the infection and is in self quarantine, and that case is also believed to be travel-related.
The first known US outbreak began in February in a Seattle Washington area convalescent home, where 19 patient deaths have been reported.
California now has 69 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to the California Department of Public Health. The department said 45 of the cases are not connected to repatriation flights. Of those, 22 are related to travel. Twelve of the cases are from person-to-person contact and nine from community transmission.
Approximately 600 positive cases of the new virus have been reported nationwide as of Monday, but authorities say they expect that number to rise significantly as more COVID-19 throat swab test kits become available and more people are more widely tested.
Symptoms can develop 2 to 14 days after exposure according the The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the symptoms can range from mild to severe.
Authorities stress that regular colds and flu are also similar common illnesses this time of year and basic protective measures such as covering your cough, frequent hand washing after touching common surfaces, and avoiding people who are sick can prevent the spread of infection. Avoiding large gatherings, cruises and unnecessary air travel if you are in a high risk group may also be a good idea, they said.
The COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses are spread via droplets on common solid surfaces and transferred by hand contact when a person then touches their eyes, mouth or nose with an unwashed hand, and or airborne by tiny airborne droplets from infected persons coughing or sneezing, within a distance of 3 to 6 feet.
Symptoms of the COVID-19 virus are similar to regular influenza but fever, cough and shortness of breath are the indicators to watch for, along with additional indicators such as possible foreign travel exposure, or exposure to an individual with a known case of the virus, called community or person to person spread. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said the country will see more coronavirus cases and deaths, but that doesn’t mean Americans should panic.
Adams went on to say that most younger, healthy residents that contract the virus will have few to no symptoms, but people over 60, and especially those older with underlying medical conditions such as heart or lung disease, diabetes or were otherwise immuno-suppressed are especially at risk of getting serious complications from the respiratory disease.
Authorities stress that regular colds and flu are also common illnesses this time of year and common protective measures such as covering your cough, frequent hand washing and social distancing can prevent infections.
Symptoms of the COVID-19 virus are similar but fever, cough and shortness of breath are the indicators to watch for. So far, children do not appear to be significantly effected.
People at risk for serious illness from COVID-19
If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should:
• Stock up on supplies
• Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others
• When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
• Avoid crowds as much as possible
• During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible.
Who is at higher risk?
Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness.
• Older adults
• People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
• Heart disease
• Lung disease
If a COVID-19 outbreak happens in your community, it could last for a long time. (An outbreak is when a large number of people suddenly get sick.) Depending on how severe the outbreak is, public health officials may recommend community actions to reduce people’s risk of being exposed to COVID-19. These actions can slow the spread and reduce the impact of disease.
If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.
Get ready for COVID-19
• Have supplies on hand
• Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community and you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.
• If you cannot get extra medications, consider using mail-order for medications.
• Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
• Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time.
Take everyday precautions
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick
• Take everyday preventive actions
• Clean your hands often
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
• If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
• To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places — elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
• Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.
• Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
• Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones)
• Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
• If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people
• Stay home as much as possible.
• Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks.