The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday Americans should be prepared as the coronavirus continues to spread around the world and in the United States.
“Ultimately, we expect we will see community spread in this country,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a conference call Tuesday.
“It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more of a question of when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness,” Messonnier said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking the American public to work with the organization to prepare in the expectation that the impact of the virus could be bad.
“I continue to hope that in the end we’ll look back and feel like we are overprepared, but that is a better place to be in than being underprepared,” Messonnier said.
The number of coronavirus cases has continued to grow worldwide with several countries including South Korea, which has also been fighting the virus has been reported to have one of the largest outbreak of the virus outside China. With 10 confirmed deaths and more than 1,000 cases from the illness in South Korea, the number of patients with the Coronavirus tallies more than 80,000 and the death toll near 3,000 globally.
Italy reporting a 45% single-day increase in infections Messonnier explained. At the time of the conference, Italian officials reported 10 deaths and 322 confirmed coronavirus cases.
Messonnier explained while all efforts to contain the virus have been taken, it is getting harder to track the virus and stop the spreading. Currently, America has placed several banns of travel to foreign countries in hopes to limit exposure to the virus.
According to the Ohio Health Department, Coronavirus disease 2019 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets, which means to become infected, people generally must be within 6 feet of someone who is contagious and come into contact with these droplets. Symptoms of COVID-19 generally appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Reported cases have ranged from mild illness (similar to a common cold) to severe pneumonia that requires hospitalization.
The ODH states currently, there are no vaccines available to prevent COVID-19 infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends typical infectious disease precautions, just as those used to prevent cold or flu:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
• Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
• Cover coughs/sneezes with your arm or a tissue.
• Avoid exposure to others who are sick.
• Stay home you are ill (except to visit a health care professional) and avoid close contact with others.
• Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
While confirmed cases in the U.S are low at 14, not including those exposed on a cruise ship, 12 confirmed diagnosed cases were travelers from other countries and two from exposure from a family member. Messonnier hopes the number of confirmed cases will remain low.
“There is one hypothesis that the virus may be seasonal, we know several viruses are season and as we move into spring and summer it may not spread,” Messonnier said. “Hopefully that is the case and we are just getting over prepared only time will tell.”
Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927
© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights