CDC confirms case of COVID-19 coronavirus in Ventura County, overall risk remains low


Image provided by Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

By Dominic D'Amico

The CDC has confirmed the first case of the COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, in Ventura County. Officials in Ventura County stated that the patient in question had recently traveled from San Francisco to Mexico and back on the Grand Princess cruise ship, the same ship now quarantined at the Port of Oakland, Calif. This announcement from the CDC reinforces the findings of the Ventura County Public Health Lab, which first confirmed the case of COVID-19 on March 6.

When the Ventura County Public Health Lab first confirmed the case on March 6, Ventura County Public Health Officer Robert Levin stated that the case doesn’t represent the spread within Ventura County.

“There is no evidence of community transmission in Ventura County. This is a travel related case. We appreciate our lab and nurses for quickly responding. Their swift action helped limit community exposure,” Levin stated.

While this is just a single case, cases around California have caused colleges such as Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, USC and others to shift their classes to online instruction only. Some of these shifts will last only through spring break, while others will last through the end of the semester.

Although the majority of COVID-19 cases are mild, the CDC cites research from China which indicates that COVID-19 can cause serious illness in approximately 16% of those infected, with the elderly and those with serious chronic conditions like heart disease, lung disease or diabetes at the most risk.

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends basic, everyday steps like thoroughly washing hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing, sneezing, blowing one’s nose or being in public areas. The CDC also states that hand sanitizer with at least a 60% alcohol content can be used to disinfect hands if soap and water are not readily available.

The CDC also recommends that people take steps to protect those around them by staying home while sick, disinfecting frequently used surfaces with suitable solutions and wearing face masks if sick or around those who are sick.

Finally, the CDC considers the overall chance of contracting COVID-19 to be low, with the virus not spreading with in many communities.

“For the majority of people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low. There is not widespread circulation in most communities in the United States,” according to the CDC.

The CDC also cautions that this COVID-19 is dangerous and meets several of the definitions of a pandemic.

“This disease has caused severe illness, including illness resulting in death is concerning, especially since it has also shown sustained person-to-person spread in several places,” emphasized the CDC.

Anyone interested in more information can visit the CDC website or the Ventura County website.