Learn More About The Corona Virus.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is cooperating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to respond to recent reports of a novel (new) coronavirus. 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and others that circulate mostly among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Common symptoms in an infected person include a fever, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Since December 2019, Chinese authorities preliminarily identified more than 800 human infections, including 27 deaths as of January 24, associated with this novel (new) coronavirus in an outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. In addition, novel coronavirus infections have been confirmed in four travelers who traveled to or came from Wuhan City, including one traveler in the United States located in Washington State. Because this is a new virus that we know little about, and person to person spread has been confirmed, on January 18, the CDC initiated screening of travelers from Wuhan City at JFK airport in NYC, SFO airport in San Francisco, and LAX airport in Los Angeles. These three airports were selected because they are the initial U.S. destinations for the vast majority of travelers from Wuhan City. Beginning this upcoming weekend, CDC anticipates expanding airport screenings to Atlanta and Chicago and requiring all travelers from Wuhan City to enter the United States through one of the 5 airports in the U.S. where there is enhanced screening. Public Health staff is assisting the CDC to ensure that travelers from Wuhan City that have a fever or respiratory illness symptoms upon arrival to LAX are appropriately screened, tested and receive care. Travelers from Wuhan City who are not ill upon arrival are being provided with a card that includes information on symptoms and advised to seek care if they become ill while visiting LA County. While there is no cure for this virus, our hospital partners and clinical providers will be able to test and care for ill travelers to minimize transmission and severe illness. 

Public Health issued a new health advisory informing local healthcare providers in LA County of the current situation on January 17, 2020. Our team from Acute Communicable Disease Control (ACDC) will continue providing updates and working with local healthcare providers as the situation evolves. While there is much more to learn about the severity and other features associated with this novel coronavirus, and investigations are ongoing in China, based on current information, the risk from the novel coronavirus 2019 to spread in Los Angeles County residents is deemed to be low at this time. If you or someone you know is planning on traveling to Wuhan, the following are important steps to take: Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat). Avoid contact with sick people. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. If you or someone you know has traveled to Wuhan and feel sick, please: Stay home and avoid contact with others, except for seeking medical care. Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. Do not travel while sick. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you work at a hospital, it is recommended that you: Follow standard environmental infection control procedures for healthcare settings. Ask all patients about recent travel. Post signs that ask students and families to follow standard hygiene practices, such as: Washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not on hand. Covering their nose and mouth with their elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Avoiding touching their eyes, nose, and mouth. Limiting close contact, like kissing and sharing cups or utensils, with people who are sick.