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CDC Confirms Possible Community Spread Of Coronavirus In US

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed what is possibly the first community transmission of coronavirus in the United States.

CDC said in a statement Wednesday that it confirmed a COVID-19 infection in a person in California who reportedly did not have relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient with the deadly disease.

"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," CDC added.

Community spread means spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown. However, it is also possible that the patient may have been exposed to a patient, who returned from China with infection, according to the federal health agency.

The latest case of COVID-19, which was detected through the U.S. public health system, raises the total number of people who tested positive for the virus in the United States to 60.

All but three of them contracted the disease while traveling abroad. They include 42 passengers who were repatriated to the United States from the coronavirus-hit cruise ship Diamond Princess off Japan, and three U.S. citizens who returned from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

CDC had already warned that it expects coronavirus could spread community-wide in the United States.

The confirmation comes shortly after President Donald Trump said at a White House news conference that the risk to Americans is "very low." However, federal health officials say they expect to see more cases in the United States.

Trump said aggressive efforts have been taken to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of the virus in the country.

He said that Vice President Mike Pence has been put in charge of leading a task force to coordinate the government's coronavirus response efforts.

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