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Masks in high demand at Central Coast stores amid coronavirus concerns

Posted at 2:01 PM, Jan 30, 2020

Home Depot in Santa Maria says they sold out of all their N95 masks within a week because of coronavirus concerns.

Lowe's Home Improvement in Santa Maria is also seeing a lot of people buying masks. The store still has some left, but there's definitely a dent in the supply.

The Home Depot in Atascadero is limiting 10 masks per person after struggling to keep them in stock.

The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global emergency after the number of infected people spiked more than tenfold in a week.

Two cases have been identified in California: Orange and Los Angeles County.

The California Department of Public Health says the coronavirus is a newly discovered virus that hasn't been previously detected in animals or humans. The source of the cornonavirus is unknown.

Early on, many patients in Wuhman, China reported having some link to a large seafood or animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, some of infected patients haven't been exposed to animal markets.

The CDC announced Thursday the first human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus has been confirmed in the U.S.

It's still unclear how easily this virus is spreading between people and there are no specific treatments for coronavirus infection. For severely ill patients, hospitals can provide supportive care.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department says, typically, human coronaviruses cause mild-to-moderate respiratory illness. Symptoms are very similar to the flu, including:
• Runny nose
• Headache
• Cough
• Sore throat
• Fever
• Shortness of breath

Health officials suggest taking some precautionary measures:
• Avoid contact with sick individuals
• Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
• Get a flu shot

If you've traveled to China between December 15, 2019 and now, and you have become ill with these symptoms, officials say call your health provider.

According to the world health organization, nearly 8,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in China and at least 170 people have died.

Health officials still say the threat to the general public remains low.