U.S. Health Officials Warn of Inevitable Spread of Coronavirus

Health officials worldwide are working to contain cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus that originated in China.

In January, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern.”

As the virus continues to rapidly spread throughout multiple communities, officials now believe the virus may not be able to be contained at the border.

“It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more of a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have a severe illness.”

Nancy Messonnier, MD, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC

The WHO reports that 33 countries have confirmed COVID-19 cases. This dramatic spread has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a warning to the American public to expect COVID-19 to spread throughout the country; and encourages all to take proactive steps to prevent its spread as much as possible.

“Now is the time for U.S. businesses, hospitals, and communities to begin preparing for the possible spread of the #COVID19,” the CDC wrote. Officials also stated that healthcare facilities should be prepared to increase telehealth systems and delay elective surgeries should the need arise.

Prevention & Symptoms

The CDC recommends everyday preventative actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

While most people experience mild symptoms, some may develop more severe symptoms, which can be fatal. Common coronaviruses typically cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illness, and those affected exhibit cold-like symptoms. The most common symptoms include headache, cough, fever, sore throat, and runny nose.

The potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, both globally and to the United States. Everyone can do their part to help the CDC respond to this emerging public health threat.

For more information on the virus, click here.


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