"It's not so much a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen..."
The detection of the coronavirus has caused widespread fear. The virus that was first identified in the city of Wuhan in China has spread across the world, claiming the lives of several people. Taking this into consideration, top US officials have issued a warning across the country.
"It's not so much a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness," said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the head of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
According to NBC News, the CDC has warned the public to be prepared for the spread of the deadly virus during a briefing on 25 February, 2020.
Now is the time for US businesses, hospitals, and communities to begin preparing for the possible spread of #COVID19. CDC continues to work with business, education & healthcare sectors, encouraging employers to be prepared. Learn more: https://t.co/OUYvMhdIaS.— CDC (@CDCgov) February 25, 2020
The CDC stated that Americans should be ready to deal with disruptions in their daily lives in case of a possible outbreak in the country, according to CNN. It would include working from home, closing down of schools and even delaying elective medical procedures. "Now is the time for US businesses, hospitals, and communities to begin preparing for the possible spread of #COVID19. CDC continues to work with business, education & healthcare sectors, encouraging employers to be prepared," the CDC tweeted.
The warning was issued in the wake of more Coronavirus cases coming to light in Iran and Italy.
While one country scrambles to contain a sudden outbreak with 212 confirmed cases in northern Italy, the Deputy Health Minister of Iran tested positive for the virus amidst a massive outbreak in the western Asian country. Meanwhile, the CDC officials in the US stated that they have increased their "level of concern and expectation" regarding the spread of the virus in the country.
Experts also urged citizens to plan accordingly. "We should all be dusting off our pandemic preparedness plans and rehearse them very quickly. The core concept is social distancing," said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University. He also said it was time for business owners to allow their employees from working from their homes. In addition, families should create a plan on how to handle a week or more at home without traveling for daily supplies of food and medicines.
Many experts shared the same concern and said that the spread was "inevitable". Speaking to NBC, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said, "When you start to see sustained transmission in other countries throughout the world, it's inevitable that it will come to the United States."
Meanwhile, a news conference by the Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that the immediate risk of the illness was comparatively "low". However, it has the "potential to change quickly". Azar mentioned that the travel restrictions placed by the government in the initial days of the spread was responsible for containing and controlling the virus. However, the public should take the necessary steps to reduce the risk.
📣 NOTICE— Stars For TXT 💫 (@StarsForTXT_) January 24, 2020
Hello MOA this post is not TXT related. I hope that everyone is aware of coronavirus, and if you are staying in countries with confirmed cases of coronavirus please take extra caution and stay healthy. There is no vaccines available to protect us from it + pic.twitter.com/i03gVn450U
Previously, the World Health Organization had asked people to stay away from those showing symptoms of respiratory illness to safeguard themselves from the virus. Wearing masks and staying at least 6 feet from people are thought to reduce risk, according to NBC News. However, according to the latest figures, 57 US citizens have been diagnosed with COVID-19, an illness caused by coronavirus. But a majority of those infected were passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was docked in Japan.