The Center for Disease Control warned on Tuesday that it is not a matter of if there will be a local outbreak of COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, in the United States, but when and Americans should prepare for such an event.
While a local outbreak in the United States is not expected to happen overnight, Dr. Nancy Messonnier said when it occurs, "Disruption to everyday life might be severe." This comes as countries are now dealing with local outbreaks within their borders as opposed to travel-related cases.
From @CDCgov press call: "Disruption to everyday life might be severe," says @DrNancyM_CDC. She said she told her children this morning, "While I didn't think they were at risk right now, we as a family ought to be preparing for significant disruption to our lives." #coronavirus— Julie Bosman (@juliebosman) February 25, 2020
The coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019, has spread to 31 other countries and territories, according to the CDC. The infection rate has surpassed the SARS outbreak in 2004. Around 2,462 people have died worldwide due to the novel virus.
As of February 23, fourteen cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed in the U.S., and an additional 39 cases have occurred among those who were evacuated from countries with high infection rates. There have been no reported deaths in the U.S. from the virus. Other nations with coronavirus cases include Afghanistan, Australia, Iran, Canada, South Korea and Spain.