The novel coronavirus spread in January in California, weeks earlier than thought, and early deaths had been likely mistaken for the flu, a county health official stated Wednesday.
A 57-year-old lady had died of COVID-19 on February 6, far earlier than any other reported cases in the U.S., stated Sara Cody, the well-being officer in Santa Clara County, California.
It was initially thought that the first U.S. death from COVID-19, the respiratory illness brought on by the virus, was in Washington state on February 29.
News of the deaths in California could enhance public health officers’ understanding of how the outbreak took hold in the U.S.
Additional early deaths may be found in California, further changing public well-being delegates’ understanding of the virus’ progress. On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom stated that he had asked medical experts from all 58 counties in California to research deaths that may have been COVID-related back to December.
The California woman’s death and two other early cases – a 69-year-old man who died February 17 and a 70-year-old man who died March 6 – had been confirmed to have been COVID-19 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after it tested tissue samples.
The county had beforehand identified its first case of community transmission – infectious spread among individuals who had not been to China or other early epicenters – on February 28, Cody stated.