A resident of Solano County, California, who has novel coronavirus might be the first example in the country of “community spread,” a situation in which the patient did not have “relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient,” the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.
The person’s “exposure is unknown,” the CDC said in a news release.
“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 agency said, using the name the World Health Organization gave this coronavirus.
Community spread means the virus begins moving through a community and the “source of the infection is unknown,” the agency said.
“It’s also possible, however, that the patient may have been exposed to a returned traveler who was infected,” the CDC added.
The agency revealed the case was detected through California’s public health system and that the patient is undergoing treatment in Sacramento.
The US has 60 confirmed coronavirus cases, health officials said, a number that is expected to grow.
CNN’s Ben Tinker contributed to this report.