The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday confirmed a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) case in California that could potentially point to a community spread.
The public health institute said it couldn't identify where the patient may have caught the virus. They didn't have either a travel history or contact with another person confirmed to carry the virus.
"It's possible this could be an instance of community spread of COVID-19, which would be the first time this has happened in the United States," the CDC said in a statement.
The patient could have been infected by another unidentified person who recently traveled to an affected area, the institute added.
This was the 15th confirmed case of the coronavirus in the United States, not including the people who were expatriated back to the United States from affected countries. The total number of cases in the U.S. is 60, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Why It Matters
The CDC designates a case as "community spread" when its source can't be determined. In a press conference earlier in the day, President Donald Trump had said that the risk posed by the virus to American people "remains very low."
Eighty-three American citizens who recently returned from China to New York were placed under self-quarantine for 14-days due to a warning from the CDC that they could be potentially carrying the virus, CNBC reported.
Health officials would visit the quarantined individual to check for symptoms of the coronavirus, but the quarantine itself won't be monitored, the officials said, according to CNBC.
The president has requested $2.5 billion from Congress to fight the outbreak, but the Democrats and some Republicans have termed it "inadequate."
House Democrats also criticized Trump for asking the Ebola safety fund money to be reallocated to fight the coronavirus.
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