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The novel coronavirus was on the loose in Los Angeles in December 2019 before China announced the outbreak.

Researchers did not conduct diagnostic tests on the retrospective patients' samples to confirm that COVID-19 reached Los Angeles before China.

The scientists and researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, conducted a study by leveraging electronic health records (EHRs) to monitor outpatient clinical encounters to identify emerging COVID-19 outbreaks. It resulted in finding that a higher number of patients with respiratory complaints and diseases started in late December 2019 and continuing through February 2020. Hence the study suggests that the spread of SARS-CoV-2 started before established clinical awareness and testing capabilities.

However, it is impossible to ascertain (no clinical evidence) the place of the first COVID-19 outbreak only with the observational study. Moreover, the World Health Organization has stated that officials first reported first human cases of COVID-19 in Wuhan City, China, in December 2019.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.

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