CDC announces first US case of coronavirus with 'unknown' origin

Officials on Wednesday announced a new case of coronavirus in California, which could be the first known instance in the United States of the virus spreading among the general public. 

Officials announced a case in California in which the person did not have a history of going to places with the virus or known exposure to another person with the virus. 

“At this time, the patient’s exposure is unknown,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. “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. Community spread means spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown.”

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"It’s also possible, however, that the patient may have been exposed to a returned traveler who was infected," the CDC added.

If confirmed, it would be a major milestone if the virus were spreading in the U.S. among the general public, something officials have warned is coming but so far has not happened. 

The case is the 15th in the United States, not counting those who returned from a cruise ship abroad.