DETROIT – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning the public that more coronavirus cases are likely to emerge in the United States.
The warning comes as infections accelerate in China and begin to gain a foothold in a number of countries. A planeload of Americans evacuated from Wuhan are back in the United States, but they won’t be going home immediately.
First, health officials want to make sure none of them are sick. As a precaution the flight crew was kept isolated from the passengers during their journey. There were 201 Americans who landed safely in California, but remain under careful observation.
There are nearly 6,000 cases in China, and 68 cases have been confirmed in more than a dozen other countries. In the United States there are five confirmed cases, with other tests still pending.
The World Health Organization is calling the spread of the virus “grave concern," prompting another emergency meeting to decide whether to declare it a “global health emergency.”
In Michigan, health officials are waiting for the test results on a person from Washtenaw County who is considered a possible case.
What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that include the common cold, SARS and MERS. The name, Corona, comes from the Latin word for crown because the cirus resembles a sphere with spikes on it under a microscope.
Symptoms of the new coronavirus include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Doctors have noted that, unlike SARS, the cirus does not cause runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, or diarrhea. It’s still unclear when people are contagious. It’s also unclear how deadly the virus is.
This new virus is concerning because there isn’t a vaccine, tests, or a treatment for it. There is also the possibility that a new virus will mutate and become more infections or deadly.
Because the corona virus in general only survives a few hours on surfaces, the CDC said there is likely a very low risk of it spreading from products that are shipped over a period of days or weeks from China.
Learn more about the coronavirus:
What to do if you are sick with coronavirus: