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CDC: Not a matter of if coronavirus will infect more Americans but when

Risk still remains low in US

DETROIT – Concerns about coronavirus are rising in the United States, and now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is saying it is not a matter of if, but when the number of cases in the country will rise.

There are currently 57 confirmed cases of the illness in the U.S., and 40 of those are people who were on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. There are more than 80,000 cases of coronavirus around the world.

“It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of when this will happen and how many people in this country will become infected and how many of those will develop severe or more complicated disease,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the deputy director of the CDC.

Other CDC officials agree with Schuchat that, while the risk currently remains low, coronavirus is something Americans should be concerned about eventually.

“This is a very serious public health condition worldwide,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease. “We’re taking this incredibly serious here in the United States. We’re doing the most aggressive containment efforts in modern history to prevent further spread in the United States. We’re going to continue taking those measures, but we are realistic that we will see more cases and as we see more cases we might have to take community mitigation efforts.”

Community mitigation efforts would include personal protection efforts such as washing hands or using masks to prevent the spread of germs, social distancing to keep sick people away from others at work and school, and decontamination of the environment.

Read more about coronavirus here.


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