CDC Confirms Possible Instance of Community Spread of COVID-19 in U.S.

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 in California in a person who reportedly did not have relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient with COVID-19.

At this time, the patient’s exposure is unknown.  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. Community spread means spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown. It’s also possible, however, that the patient may have been exposed to a returned traveler who was infected.

This case was detected through the U.S. public health system — picked up by astute clinicians. This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States to 15.

The federal government has been working closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as public health partners, to respond to this public health threat. Unprecedented, aggressive efforts have been taken to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of this virus.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. CDC will continue to update the public as circumstances warrant.  For more information about COVID-19 visit www.cdc.gov/covid19.

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CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.

Page last reviewed: February 26, 2020