The latest confirmed U.S. case of coronavirus, diagnosed in a California woman, is of “unknown origin” and was found in a patient who had not traveled overseas or had contact with any known travelers, local health officials said on Friday.
The woman, identified only as an adult with chronic health conditions, was referred by her physician for testing after she developed difficulty breathing, said Dr. Sara Cody, chief health officer for Santa Clara County.
“This is the third case identified in our county. But it’s different from the other two cases in an important way. Like the (previous California case of unknown origin reported a week ago) our third case did not recently travel overseas or have any known contact with a recent traveler or infected person,” Cody told an afternoon news conference.
Santa Clara is home to the Silicon Valley tech hub in Northern California.
The number of confirmed U.S. cases of the respiratory disease is still relatively small at roughly 60, most of them repatriated American passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan, but there are growing fears that the country is on the cusp of wider outbreak.