Data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state and local health departments in California, show signs that a coronavirus might have infected Americans a few weeks earlier than previously believed.
The first two cases of COVID-19 in California were officially announced January 26th. In both examples, they are travelers who came from the epicenter in Wuhan, China. They are located in Los Angeles and Orange county. However, there were two other deaths in the San Francisco Bay area from February and March that led scientists to believe that the killer virus might have existed in California in early December.
“This virus moves freely in our community and may have been here for some time,” said Dr. Jeff Smith, a doctor and chief executive of the Santa Clara County government. Smith noted that COVID-19 was likely in California “back in December,” as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
“This is not recognized because we have a severe flu season,” Smith explained. “The symptoms are very similar to the flu. If you suffer from COVID, you don’t really pay attention. You don’t even go to the doctor. Doctors might not even do it because they think it’s flu.”
“Current public health [officials] trying to track the beginning of the disease … we could not find, specifically, contact, “Smith told the county overseer.” That means the virus already exists in the community – no, as CDC suspected, like only in China and spread from contact with China. “
The second coronavirus death in California is 68-year-old Azar Ahrabi, who died on March 9 Los Angeles Times reported that health officials were unable to find a source for Ahrabi’s COVID-19 infection.
His family members said he mostly stayed at home, caring for his mother. He rarely drives, and he walks to the local grocery store to shop. But he and his mother lived in the Santa Clara apartment complex in a densely populated international community.
Ahrabi was checked into the emergency room on February 20, and was diagnosed with nonspecific pneumonia. He was prescribed antibiotics and sent home. The next day, he was admitted to the intensive care unit.
Azar’s son Amir Ahrabi asked the doctor to test him for the new corona virus, but the doctor told him that he did not meet the criteria that were eligible for testing.
On March 6, a 70-year-old man was found dead at his home and he tested positive for coronavirus. He lived less than four miles from Azar Ahrabi, “basically from the same main road as the road between them.” His death “was never publicly announced, and local health officials did not answer questions about the case,” according to the Times. This led doctors to believe that a viral community had spread.
To get a better understanding of when coronavirus was first in California and the US, the researchers analyzed specimens from blood banks and other repositories to see if there were antibodies in the sample.
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