The first person to die of the rapidly-spreading coronavirus in Los Angeles County was announced Wednesday at a news conference, as health officials reported 29 cases in the county.
The victim was identified as a woman in her 60s who does not live in the county, but was visiting friends. The woman had an extensive recent travel history, including a long layover in South Korea, and underlying health conditions.
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She was transported to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center on Monday in full cardiace arrest. A family member notified hospital staff of the woman's travel history, triggering infection control measures, the hospital said in a statement.
The patient was placed in isolation, but died shortly after admission to the hospital.
"Our highly-trained staff followed all appropriate infection control protocols and took every precaution in caring for this patient, who tragically succumbed to their complications," said Dr. Daniel Gluckstein, medical director of infectious disease at PVHMC. "We extend our deepest condolences to the patient and family. At this time, our top priority remains protecting public health and ensuring the safety of our patients, visitors, Associates, physicians, volunteers and community."
The county also reported six additional positive cases for coronavirus on Wednesday. By the afternoon, the total number of cases had risen to 29 in LA County, including cases in Long Beach and Pasadena, which operate their own health departments.
Universities in Southern California began holding online classes this week, hoping to stop the spread.
LA County Case Breakdown
- Eight people in a travel group to Italy
- Two contract employees who were conducting coronavirus medical screenings of arriving passengers at Los Angeles International Airport. The two LAX screeners worked at the same quarantine station at the airport and are likely to have been exposed to the same source of the illness
- Two relatives of a person who lives outside the county and was also confirmed with the virus
- A traveler from the area of Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. That person, the county's first, has since recovered
- An American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) traveler
- A patient who traveled to Japan
- A patient with no known history of travel to outbreak regions, possibly LA County's first case of community transmission
- Three people in Long Beach with histories of travel to outbreak areas. One was hospitalized in stable condition and the others are at home in isolation. Two went on a cruise on the Nile River in Egypt, and the other person had traveled to an area in Northern California where community transmission has been reported.
- A resident who returned from Iran via LAX
- A woman in her 60s who doesn't live in LA County, who died of the virus.
- 3 people who had contact to someone in their home who was confirmed previously to have tested positive.
- One person traveled to France and returned home, falling ill.
- One person became ill after traveling to a religious conference in another state and was in close contact with a person at the conference who had tested positive.
- One person who didn't travel and didn't seem to have close contact with someone who tested positive.