Speaking with local media at a California nursing conference, nurses Catherine Smart and Romana Calderon both said they were worried that a patient who died after receiving care in a Salinas hospital last summer had contracted the coronavirus.

Mr. Smart, who had been a high school nurse in the United States before coming to the Middle East as a refugee, recalled trying to bring quick life-saving steps to the woman, 57, whose sister had taken care of him for years. She died in June at Sutter Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital — now one of the five California facilities where a patient has contracted coronavirus in connection with the outbreak. The virus has not been identified as the source of the other cases, with all but one of them linked to Zika.

“We are worried because it happened in the Salinas hospital where we all work, and most of us are from Salinas,” said Ms. Calderon, a paralegal at Sutter. “I’m pretty worried because I’m a nurse and we all have that virus in our blood.”

Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in the state of California after the first case of coronavirus was reported in California in July 2018. In the case of the most recent transmission of the virus, doctors in Sacramento have reported that no patients from the Yolo County area — where the latest hospital case was diagnosed — became ill. The most recent transmission of the virus occurred from patients in nearby Solano County.

This has prompted concerns that there may be a link between the outbreak and the 2014 outbreak at Southern California’s Disneyland, in which more than half of the 124 people sickened by the virus later died.

“When I was working in the hospital, I always thought of emulating what I saw in the American movies — the nurses taking a stab at saving the patient — but now I’m afraid I’m not as trained and I’m not going to be as good as I can be,” Ms. Smart said.

Read the full story at The L.A. Times.


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