- Orange County has one confirmed case of novel coronavirus
- No evidence that person-to-person transmission has occurred in Orange County
- Risk of infection to public in Orange County is believed to be low
There is an outbreak of pneumonia in China, which has been identified to be caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (or COVID-19). There are ongoing investigations by many countries to learn more about the outbreak, and the situation is rapidly evolving. On Friday, January 31, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared COVID-19 a public health emergency in the United States. The declaration went into effect at 2 p.m. PST on Sunday, February, 2, 2020.
As part of the emergency declaration, persons returning to the United States through select airports and considered to be at highest risk are being quarantined and monitored by public health officials. Locally, it’s important to note that John Wayne Airport is not among this predetermined list of airports. All other returning travelers from China will face a health screening and face up to two weeks of monitored self-quarantine to ensure they pose no health risk. At this time, Orange County, CA continues to have only one confirmed case of COVID-19 a man in his 50s who has recovered. There is no evidence of person to person transmission occurring here. The risk to the public in Orange County, CA and throughout the United States remains low.
The OC Health Care Agency (HCA) is working with federal, state, and local partners including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and health care providers to prepare and appropriately care for people who may be at risk for illness associated with COVID-19 or who have tested positive for COVID-19. This is a rapidly changing situation, and we will share more as we are updated from our colleagues at the state and/or federal level.
Some key points include:
- CDC guidance indicates that people who have casual contact with a case (in the same grocery store or movie theater) are at minimal risk of developing infection.
- If you have not been to China, or been in close contact with someone who has been to China and is sick, your risk is very low.
- If you have been to China and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, within 14 days after you left China, you should:
- 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.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Not travel while sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
CDC's FAQ: Coronavirus Disease - 2019 and Children:
Q: Are children more susceptible to the virus that causes COVID-19 compared with the general population and how can infection be prevented?
A: No, there is no evidence that children are more susceptible. In fact, most confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported from China have occurred in adults. Infections in children have been reported, including in very young children. From limited information published from past Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreaks, infection among children was relatively uncommon.
Person-to-person spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been seen among close contacts of returned travelers from Hubei province in China. This virus is not currently spreading in the community in the United States and risk to the general public is low. Children should engage in usual preventive actions to avoid infection, including cleaning hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoiding people who are sick, and staying up to date on vaccinations, including influenza vaccine. Additional information on prevention measures can be found here (Prevention for 2019 Novel Coronavirus).
Q: Does the clinical presentation of COVID-19 differ in children compared with adults?
A: Limited reports of children with COVID-19 in China have described cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting and diarrhea) have been reported in at least one child with COVID-19. These limited reports suggest that children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms, and though severe complications (e.g., acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock) have been reported, they appear to be uncommon. More information on CDC Clinical Guidance for COVID-19 can be found here (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-guidance-management-patients.html).
Q: Are children at increased risk for severe illness, morbidity, or mortality from COVID-19 infection compared with adults?
A: There have been very few reports of the clinical outcomes for children with COVID-19 to date. Limited reports from China suggest that children with confirmed COVID-19 may present with mild symptoms and though severe complications (e.g., acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock) have been reported, they appear to be uncommon. However, as with other respiratory illnesses, certain populations of children may be at increased risk of severe infection, such as children with underlying health conditions.
Q: Are there any treatments available for children with COVID-19?
A: There are currently no antiviral drugs recommended or licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for COVID-19. Clinical management includes prompt implementation of recommended infection prevention and control measures in healthcare settings and supportive management of complications. More information on CDC Clinical Guidance for COVID-19 can be found here (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-guidance-management-patients.html).
Children and their family members should engage in usual preventive actions to prevent the spread of respiratory infections, including covering coughs, cleaning hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and staying up to date on vaccinations, including influenza. Additional information on prevention measures can be found here (Prevention for 2019 Novel Coronavirus).
The CDC has issued the following travel guidance related to COVID-19:
- China — Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel — updated February 22;
- South Korea — Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel — updated February 24;
- Japan — Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions — updated February 22;
- Iran — Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions — issued February 23;
- Italy — Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions — issued February 23;
- Hong Kong — Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions — issued February 19.
For the most updated information on this outbreak please visit CDC COVID-19
For additional information, visit