Today, the Center for Disease Control (or CDC) held a telephone-based media briefing in regards to the current and future state of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the United States.
The virus has been spreading rapidly beyond China’s borders, including 14 unique cases within the United States, with an additional 39 repatriated persons coming from cruise ships and vacations.
In total, the world has more than 77,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with almost 2,500 deaths in direct relation to the disease.
MD and Director of the CDC, Nancy Messonnier, noted that the CDC is working to improve and adapt their test kits to better identify cases of COVID-19 throughout the US, but expressed a lack of confidence in their current evaluation methods.
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Messonnier also stated that US citizens should plan and expect their lives to be potentially impacted day-to-day as the government and CDC continue to dial-up their “aggressive containment strategy” to control and quarantine COVID-19 cases within the US.
She further mentioned that COVID-19 has “two of the three criteria of a pandemic” as the world sees cases spread at an alarming rate. “We have also enacted the first case of quarantine of this scale in the US,” says Messonnier. “As more and more countries see community spread, containment at our borders becomes harder and harder.”
“It’s not a question of if this will spread in our country, but exactly when it will spread,” adds Messonnier. “While we hope this is not going to be severe, we’re certainly planning as if it is.”
Messonnier stressed that communities should cancel mass gatherings and individuals should “stay at home if you’re sick, and wash your hands and face often.”
When asked about the current plans for quarantine on US soil, Messonnier replied, “Right now, our focus is still on individuals with a travel history that would put them at risk of contracting COVID-19.”
The attempts continuously made by the CDC and the United States have slowed down the spread of COVID-19, but plans should be made as if it’s an inevitability. The CDC is working to get modified and updated test kits out to districts as fast as possible.
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
Commercial labs will also be coming online soon, which will allow for local testing for the virus in the most notable areas at risk for contraction.
“Our guidance and advice are likely to be interim and fluid, subject to change as we learn more. We will continue to keep you updated,” said Messonnier.