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Health officials warn of an outbreak of the Corona virus in the United States

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday that the coronavirus will definitely begin spreading to communities in the United States, and Americans should begin preparations now.

“It is no longer just a question of whether this will happen anymore, but rather it is a matter of when exactly this will happen,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, in a new briefing. .

The news has hidden weeks of fear that the spreading Corona virus from China will become a pandemic, disrupting the global economy and political landscape in unpredictable ways.

Iran, South Korea and Italy are now grappling with combinations of infection, even as the epidemic slows in China’s Hubei province.

The emergence of these new hubs underscored the absence of a coordinated global strategy to combat the Corona virus, which has infected nearly 80,000 people in 37 countries, killing at least 2,600 people.

CDC officials said they do not know whether the spread of the disease to the United States will be mild or severe. She added that Americans should be prepared for a major disruption in their daily lives.

“We ask the American public to be prepared to anticipate that this might be bad,” said Dr. Meissner.

  • Updated February 25, 2020

    • What is Corona virus?
      It is a new virus that has been called a crown-like mutation that protrudes from its surface. Coronavirus can infect animals and people alike, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from common colds to more serious conditions such as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.
    • How infectious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it appears to be moderately contagious, similar to SARS, and may be transmitted by sneezing, coughing and contaminated surfaces. Scientists have estimated that each infected person can spread it between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • Where has the virus spread?
      The disease, which originated in Wuhan, China, has sickened more than 80,000 people in at least 33 countries, including Italy, Iran and South Korea.
    • Who works to contain the virus?
      WHO officials are working with officials in China, where growth has slowed. But this week, with confirmed cases rising on two continents, experts warn that the world is not ready for a major disease outbreak.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, as well as staying home when you are sick.

In Washington, the Secretary of Health and Human Services told a Senate committee that federal and local health departments would need up to 300 million masks for health care workers and additional hospital ventilation equipment to prepare for the Corona virus outbreak in the United States.

“This is a potentially unprecedented health challenge globally,” Alex M. Azar II, Minister of Health and Human Services, told a subcommittee of the Senate.

But lawmakers on both sides have made clear they are not convinced that the Trump administration was ready for an outbreak. It is a prediction.

As Senator John Kennedy, the Louisiana Republican, pressed to specify the number of people expected to be infected, Chad Wolf, the agency’s Homeland Security chief, could not answer.

Mr. Kennedy replied, “I am everything about committees and task forces, but you are the minister.” “I think you should know this answer.”

Trump administration officials overseeing the response to a potential Corona virus outbreak told lawmakers that the initial amount the White House requested – $ 1.25 billion in new money and $ 1.25 billion obtained from other programs – would be just the first round.

And Mr. Azar said: “We are really learning day to day and week by week from the features of this disease.”

Legislators who heard Mr. Azar’s requests seemed surprised.

Senator Patti Murray, a Washington Democrat, asked the Secretary of Health whether he believed the United States currently had enough health masks in stock.

He answered, “Of course not, otherwise we will not ask for more.”

Mr. Azar said that officials currently have 30 million N95 masks in the country’s emergency stocks, which usually cost less than one dollar.

Mr. Azar said he was concerned about the transmission of the virus from person to person in other parts of the world without specific contact with confirmed cases, and what this could mean for how the virus infected the United States in the coming months.

“We cannot close the United States with a virus,” said Mr. Azar. “And we need to be realistic about it.”

The World Health Organization said the frequency of confirmed new cases in China, which exceeded 2,000 cases a day a month ago, had steadily decreased, to 508 on Monday.

George W. He said that the severe measures imposed by the Chinese authorities to isolate the sick and the worst affected areas probably prevented hundreds of thousands of additional injuries.

But. Officials also warned that the world is not ready for a jump in infection, which may overwhelm medical resources in many countries. They also warned that new cases may suddenly appear in China, as the government is struggling to get people back to work.

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There are ongoing doubts about the accuracy of the infection numbers reported by the Chinese government, which increases the possibility of not reporting the true size of the outbreak.

By Tuesday, South Korea reported 893 cases, the second largest in the world, and the Centers for Disease Control in the United States had warned Americans against traveling there.

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