A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

Risk of coronavirus spread low in California among seven confirmed cases

Center for Disease Control and Prevention
The novel coronavirus is a zoonotic virus originating in animals. The virus is believed to have been transmitted to humans at an open-air market in China towards the end of 2019. Sonoma County Department of Health and SRJC Student Health Services are advising precautions despite the “low risk” of the virus spreading from the seven confirmed cases in California.

Sonoma County Department of Health (SCDH) officials said Feb. 5 that the risk of the spread of the novel coronavirus in California is low, while SRJC Student Health Services (SHS) continue to monitor the situation.

There are 13 confirmed cases in the US, seven of which are in California: two in Santa Clara County, two in San Benito County, one in Los Angeles County, one in Orange County and one undisclosed, according to SCDH and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

There have been no fatalities in the U.S. related to the virus. Many of the confirmed cases are people who have traveled to America from China where the virus originated.

Symptoms of the virus are similar to influenza and include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. According to the CDC, no specific treatments or vaccines are available.

SHS provides these steps to prevent the virus transmission: wash hands, avoid touching faces, avoid contact with those who are sick, stay home home when sick and cover coughs with a tissue. They also recommend wiping down surfaces and frequently used objects, like cell phones and computers.

For students experiencing anxiety due to the overhype of the severity of the virus, SHS suggests visiting their offices. According to SHS, the state of the coronavirus is much less threatening than how the media portrays it. 

“The chances of you becoming ill due to the coronavirus are much lower than the standard flu,” said SHS officials.

The first reported human case of the novel coronavirus was in Wuhan city, Hubei province, China. The virus made animal-to-person contact at an open air large seafood and live animal market in 2019, according to the CDC. Wuhan and two other China cities have been put under quarantine orders by their government to limit the spread of the virus.

The death toll in China has reached over 1,000 among its 42,000 confirmed cases, making the novel coronavirus more deadly than the SARS pandemic in the early 2000s, according to the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China

The World Health Organization declared a global health emergency Jan. 30 for the spread of the novel coronavirus, stating a particular concern for countries with underdeveloped health care systems.

Since the outbreak began late 2019, 28 countries have reported infection, the CDC said. 

SCDH recommends to Sonoma County schools that any person who has visited mainland China before Feb. 3, 2020 and is showing any respiratory symptoms be given a surgical mask and sent home. They also recommend contacting the Sonoma County Disease Control Unit at (707) 565-4567.

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About the Contributor
Luke Morrow
Luke Morrow, News Editor
Luke Morrow is a sixth-year Santa Rosa Junior College student majoring in broadcast journalism. Now in his second semester at The Oak Leaf, Luke is the news editor. He hopes to transfer to CSU Fresno or CSU Northridge in fall 2020 to pursue his passion for political, environmental and global broadcast news.

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