The seventh U.S. case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Santa Clara County, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Friday.
The federal public health agency said the patient is a male who resides in the Bay Area. To date, three cases have been confirmed in California, two in Illinois, one in Arizona, and another in Washington state. Earlier Friday, White House announced that the U.S. will ban all foreign nationals who have traveled to China in the last 14 days. The ban will begin at 5:00 P.M. EST on Sunday.
“These prudent, targeted, and temporary actions will decrease the pressure on public health officials screening incoming travelers, expedite the processing of U.S. citizens and permanent residents returning from China,” Health and Human Service Secretary Alexander Azar said at a press briefing.
The Trump official then reaffirmed that the virus poses a low risk to Americans.
“The risk of infection for Americans remains low and with these and our previous actions we are working to keep the risks low,” he said.
On Thursday evening, the State Department issued a “Do Not Travel” advisory for China due to the ongoing outbreak.
“Do not travel to China due to novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China,” the advisory states. “Those currently in China should consider departing using commercial means. The Department of State has requested that all non-essential U.S. government personnel defer travel to China in light of the novel coronavirus.”
The measures taken by the government come after Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) asked the Trump administration to implement a “target travel ban” against China, citing its previous lack of transparency in combating outbreaks.
“Given the latest developments and the many unknowns about this virus, we ought to follow Benjamin Franklin’s maxim: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. America is blessed with world-leading researchers and laboratories on the cutting edge of medical science and epidemiology. Working in tandem with them, I’m confident our federal research agencies can develop a vaccine in record time,” the senator wrote in a letter to Azar, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and acting Homeland Security Director Chad Wolfe.
As of Friday, the virus has killed 258 people in China and spread to 20 countries.
Editor’s Note: The featured photo was taken at Los Angeles International Airport on January 29. The picture choice is illustrative and not a literal depiction of any individual involved in this medical case.