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First case of coronavirus confirmed in L.A. County

A man reaches out for a mask at a Home Depot store in Los Angeles, California on January 22, 2020 as the Coronavirus entered the United States this week. - A new virus that has killed nine people, infected hundreds and has already reached the US coul

Health officials confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Los Angeles County on Sunday.  

"The infected person presented themselves for care once they noticed that they were not feeling well and is currently receiving medical treatment," according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

"There is no immediate threat to the general public, no special precautions are required, and people should not be excluded from activities based on their race, country of origin, or recent travel if they do not have symptoms of respiratory illness."  

The patient is a returning traveler from Wuhan City, China.

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"L.A. County is well prepared to manage cases and suspected cases of Novel Coronavirus. We are working closely with our federal, state and local partners to provide healthcare providers and the public with accurate information about actions we are taking to reduce the spread of Novel Coronavirus and to care for those who are ill," said Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County's director of public health.  

"As with other respiratory illnesses, there are steps that everyone can take to reduce the risk of getting sick from circulating viruses, including coronavirus. This includes remaining home when ill, washing hands with soap and water frequently, and getting vaccinated against flu."

"Because novel coronavirus is new, we are learning more each day about transmission patterns and incubation periods. We will keep everyone informed as more information becomes available. The risk of transmission of coronavirus in L.A. County remains low."  

On Saturday, the Orange County Health Care Agency confirmed a case of coronavirus after a traveler from Wuhan, China -- ground zero for the deadly disease -- tested positive.  

The two Southland cases are the only confirmed cases in California so far, and two of the only four in the United States. The other U.S. cases were reported in Illinois and Washington state.  

The outbreak was first noted in late December in the industrial city of Wuhan in the Hubei province of central China. Since then, more than 2,000 cases have been reported in China, with at least 56 deaths.  

The CDC's guidance indicates people who have casual contact with a case -- "in the same grocery store or movie theater" -- are at "minimal risk of developing infection."  

For general information about Novel Coronavirus, go to www.cdc.gov.