Coronavirus: The United States Might Be An Earlier Outbreak Country of COVID-19

Coronavirus: The United States Might Be An Earlier Outbreak Country of COVID-19

**An analysis of patients who came to UCLA clinics and hospitals this past winter to be treated for coughs suggests the novel coronavirus may have reached Los Angeles by Christmas. **

Is it true that President Trump and his administration said that the new coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, and is it a “China Virus”? There is no exact statement about the origin of this issue until now, but at least in the scientific community, the WHO and other organizations have an accepted view that the virus originates from wild animals, not from laboratory synthesis.

In the United States, when did the virus exist? Did it spread from European or Asian countries? I believe that the governments of many countries are not aware of this, or deliberately ignore this, just for a certain political need. A new study recently showed that the new coronavirus may have spread in Los Angeles as early as December last year, which is earlier than the report submitted to the WHO by Wuhan, China.

Researchers from UCLA and their colleagues at the University of Washington documented an unmistakable uptick in patients seeking treatment for coughs. The increase began the week of Dec. 22, 2019, and persisted through the end of February.

Some of those patients were treated in outpatient centers. Others came to emergency rooms, and some were ultimately admitted to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center or other hospitals operated by UCLA.

Officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first recognized that the coronavirus had reached American shores in mid-January, when a man in Washington state who had traveled to the area around Wuhan tested positive for an infection. By then, UCLA doctors may have treated dozens of COVID-19 patients without realizing it, the study authors wrote. This result shows a different voice to President Trump and his administration, so it might be ignored by public and most mass medias.

“A significantly higher number of patients with respiratory complaints and diseases starting in late December 2019 and continuing through February 2020 suggests community spread of SARS-CoV-2 prior to established clinical awareness and testing capabilities,” wrote the team led by Dr. Joann Elmore, who is both an internist and professor of health policy and management at UCLA.

To look for signs of early COVID-19 patients, Elmore and her colleagues searched through more than 9.5 million outpatient visits, nearly 575,000 emergency room visits and almost 250,000 hospital admissions going back more than five years. Medical records that said a patient complained of a cough were included in the analysis.

The researchers counted a total of 2,938 patients who went to a clinic seeking help for a cough in the 13 weeks between Dec. 1, 2019, and Feb. 29, 2020. And in emergency rooms, the researchers tallied 1,708 cough patients this past December, January and February. Finally, the search of medical records turned up 1,138 patients who were hospitalized in December, January or February and treated for acute respiratory failure. That was about 387 more than the average number of acute respiratory failure patients admitted over the previous five winters, and about 210 more than the number admitted in the winter of 2018-19, the worst of the five earlier winters.

But the idea that the coronavirus was circulating in California even before Dec. 31, when the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission first announced its cluster of unexplained pneumonia cases, might not be far-fetched.

Similar cases seen in Santa Clara County around the same time suggest the virus was at large in the Bay Area by then as well, according to a study in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

We may never know for sure exactly when the coronavirus arrived in Los Angeles — or anywhere else in the United States. Still, the results of the new study show that data gleaned from clinic medical records “can provide an early warning to emergency departments and hospital intensive care units of what is to come,” the UCLA team wrote.

“Lessons learned from this pandemic will hopefully lead to better preparation and the ability to quickly provide warnings and track the next pandemic,” they added.

See more details from Las Angel Times: The coronavirus may have reached Los Angeles even before China announced its outbreak