Sooner or later, it’s virtually bound to happen. Though novel 2019 coronavirus cases in the United States have so far ticked up in fits and starts, experts on deadly diseases say Americans should be prepared to see an overnight boom in cases that mirror the skyrocketing outbreaks in Italy and South Korea. At last count from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 60 confirmed novel 2019 coronavirus cases in the U.S. One of those cases—in northern California—marked the first case of unknown origin, as The Washington Post first reported Wednesday. Fourteen patients came through the American health system after traveling to China or having close contact with someone who had. The rest were either repatriated individuals who fled the vicinity of the virus’s origin in China on State Department-chartered planes or else were rescued from the disastrous Diamond Princess cruise ship outbreak.
Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, acknowledged Tuesday that community spread—when cases are detected in an area but the source of the infection is not known—was very likely to cause more infections in the United States. The case in California, which a CDC statement said was “picked up by astute clinicians,” appeared to prove her right, and set the stage for a serious test of American health infrastructure after years of atrophy. In Italy, officials have not been able to trace the origin of infections, which skyrocketed from just four on Friday to more than 528 by Thursday, killing at least 14 people.
Reality TV: Hollywood A-Lister celebrities like Kate Hudson, Gweneth Paltrow, and Selena Gomez have all ponied up to the plate and donned face masks as the coronavirus has spread – hopefully, more Americans will follow their lead.
While each country faces its own health and containment challenges, experts say, there is little reason to believe the United States won’t soon face a similar coronavirus surge, even as President Trump on Wednesday urged calm and put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the disease’s containment.
We’ve awakened in a different world: Panic sets in across the globe, as the coronavirus SARS-CoV2 – has now spread to every continent on the planet, except Antarctica. Panic buying has left supermarket store shelves barren and a shortage of face masks have created mile-long lines in some parts of Asia. The world is reacting now to what it should’ve taken more seriously a month ago.
“It’s possible to say suddenly we’ll have 20 or 30 cases from one particular place,” said Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, an adjunct professor of epidemiology at the University of California Los Angeles who previously worked for the CDC. “People should expect that, but people should not be overly concerned about that. If we were testing everyone for the common cold, we would find hundreds of thousands of cases.” Because not everyone is going to seek a test for cold symptoms, “it’s certainly possible that there are cases we don’t know about in the community,” added Klausner. But for most people, symptoms are mild to moderate. Less than 20 percent of confirmed cases have been severe, and just two percent fatal, he said. –Daily Beast