The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Wednesday night that a person in California who tested positive for coronavirus may be the first case of community spread in the United States.
This person did not recently travel out of the country or come into contact with anyone infected with the coronavirus, known as COVID-19. The case was "detected through the U.S. public health system," the CDC said, and "picked up by astute clinicians." The CDC said this could be an "instance of community spread of COVID-19," which means the source of infection is unknown, but also acknowledged that "the patient may have been exposed to a returned traveler who was infected."
Lawrence Gostin, director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law, told the Los Angeles Times this is "the first signal that we could be having silent transmission in the community. It probably means there are many more cases out there and it probably means this individual has infected others and now it's a race to try to find out who that person has infected." There are 60 cases of COVID-19 in the United States.
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