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Northern California city at the epicenter of the coronavirus mystery

VACAVILLE: Residents of a northern California community are at the epicenter of what officials call a turning point in the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus, while researchers try to retrace the steps of a hospitalized woman they believe is the first in the US UU. being infected without traveling internationally or being in close contact with anyone who has had it.

While infectious disease experts were deployed in Vacaville, some 100,000 city residents supplied themselves with supplies amid fears that things might get worse despite official guarantees, while others took the news calmly.

The city is located between San Francisco and Sacramento in Solano County, in the Central Agricultural Valley and near the famous California wine region.

It is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Travis Air Force Base, which has been used as a virus quarantine site.

Public health officials said they can’t find any connection between the infected woman and the Diamond Princess cruise passengers who were evacuated to the base when the ship docked in Japan.

The case of infected women marks an escalation of the global outbreak in the US. UU. Because it means that the virus could extend beyond the scope of preventive measures such as quarantines, although state health officials said it was inevitable and that the risk of widespread transmission remains low.

But McKinsey Paz, her husband and her boss at a private security company in Vacaville were at no risk.

They went to a warehouse store on Thursday to buy bottled water, canned food, staples such as rice and beans and boxes of toilet paper and paper towels.

“We’re not sure what’s going to happen. Panic seems to do that to you,” Paz said.

“In case things get a little crazy, we don’t want to be the last ones. We’re preparing for the worst.”

Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County Public Health Officer, said public health officials have identified dozens of people, but less than 100, who had close contact with the woman.

They are quarantined in their homes and some who have shown symptoms are isolated, Matyas said.

Officials are not too worried, for now, about casual contact, because federal officials think that the coronavirus is transmitted only through “close contact, being less than six feet from someone for what they call a prolonged period of time. “said Dr. James Watt. , interim state epidemiologist at the California Department of Public Health.

The virus can cause fever, cough, wheezing and pneumonia. Health officials think it spreads mainly from the drops when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how the flu spreads.

Several Vacaville residents said they will try to avoid crowded places at the moment, while taking other routine and recommended precautions, such as frequent hand washing. But others plan to do more.

“I will definitely wear my mask and gloves at work, because I am a server,” said bowling worker Denise Arriaga, who has seen more clients wear masks recently and said she doesn’t care if she is criticized for the extra precautions

“At the end of the day, it’s my life,” he said.

The case raised questions about how fast public health officials are moving to diagnose and treat new cases. State and federal health officials disagreed on when doctors first requested that the woman be tested.

Doctors at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento said they asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. UU. Have the woman tested for the virus on February 19.

But they said the CDC did not approve the tests until Sunday “since the patient did not meet the existing CDC criteria” for the virus, according to a memo published on the hospital’s website.

The woman first sought treatment at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville, before her condition worsened and she was transferred to the medical center.

CDC spokesman Richard Quartarone said a preliminary review of the agency’s records indicates that the agency did not know about the woman until Sunday, the same day the first test was done.

That is the kind of confusion that worries Paz, whose security company has already stored 450 facial masks and is fighting for more “since they are hard to come by.”

The company owner bought enough cleaning and disinfection supplies to scrub the office and send it home with the employees.

But they seemed to be at the extreme for preparations.

Eugenia Kendall wore a facial mask, but she feared anything, including the common cold. Your immune system is affected because you are undergoing chemotherapy and have long taken these precautions.

“We are not paranoid. We are just trying to be practical,” said 31-year-old husband Ivan Kendall.

“We clean the shopping carts if they have them, and when I get back to the car I clean my hands, and I only hope for the best.”

In their investigation of the movements of the hospitalized woman, the authorities were trying to find out how she got it and who else she could have infected without realizing it.

They are interviewing immediate family members and expanding their network to include more distant family members who may have been in contact, social gatherings such as the church the patient may have attended and any possible time at work or events Like a concert

In addition to women, the other 59 cases in the United States have been for people who traveled abroad or had close contact with other people who traveled. (

Original source