SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The first case of the deadly coronavirus has reached the Bay Area.
The Santa Clara County Health Department confirmed Friday that a man has tested positive for the new virus from China.
The announcement comes shortly after the U.S. declared a public health emergency because of the new virus.
The virus’ epicenter is Wuhan, China — but it has since spread to other countries worldwide.
Nearly 10,000 people have been infected with the disease worldwide in just two month.
The virus has claimed the lives of 213 people in China.
Here’s what to know about coronavirus:
What is coronavirus?
According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as pneumonia, SARS, and Middle East respiratory syndrome or MERS.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of the virus are similar to the common flu. They include fever, shortness of breath, and a cough, according to the CDC.
In more severe cases, infection can lead to severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure or death.
The CDC believes at this time that symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure.
At this point, experts say travel history plays the biggest role in determining whether you have flu or cold-like symptoms versus the coronavirus. If you haven’t traveled to Wuhan, China, you’re likely in the clear.
How does coronavirus spread?
In rare cases, the virus can be spread from animals to people.
Officials have confirmed that the coronavirus can be transmitted between humans, which often happens when someone comes into contact with the infected person’s secretions – such as through coughing or sneezing.
According to the CDC, the virus can also be transmitted by touching something an infected person has touched then touching your mouth, eyes, or nose.
In Chicago, a woman infected her husband with the virus, which was the first confirmed person-to-person case in the U.S.
Is there a vaccine? How is it treated?
There is no vaccine yet, but health officials say those infected may get some relief by taking pain or fever medications, drinking plenty of liquids, and resting.
While there is no vaccine, people can reduce the risk of infection by avoiding those who are sick, washing their hands often, and avoiding touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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