Coronavirus – What to Know?

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With the latest update (2nd March,2020) from Coronavirus Task Force, there are 6 confirmed fatalities in United States stemming from exposure to Coronavirus.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is taking all the steps to keep the American public with up-to-date information and had published information to help understand the risks, preventive measures and guidance.

Beware of the false information and promise of cure spreading on the social media and in Whatsapp groups. Please always refer to CDC website here for the latest updates and news.

Here are some publications from CDC which will help you understand Coronavirus outbreak and what CDC is currently doing. (PDF documents)

World Health Organization had published an info video for general public to better understand how Coronavirus spreads and basic info on the virus for general knowledge. I highly recommend this video for families.

World Health Organization Info Video on Coronavirus

People Under Investigation (PUI) in the United States* (as of 2nd March,2020)


Confirmed
Presumptive Positive**Total Confirmed & Presumptive Positive
Travel-related12517
Person-to-person spread42226
Total cases162743

* These data represent cases detected and tested in the United States through U.S. public health surveillance systems since January 21, 2020. It does not include people who returned to the U.S. via State Department-chartered flights

** A presumptive positive case has tested positive by a public health laboratory and is pending confirmatory testing at CDC. States are reporting presumptive positive cases independently; their case counts are the most up-to-date.

CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

Avoid close contact with people who are sick; avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth; wash hand with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

How to stop the spread of Germs – Source: CDC

One of the crucial fact is, early on, many of the patients at the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. Later, a growing number of patients reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread.

Person-to-person spread is always unpredictable and also poses challenges in identifying the people who are exposed to the virus. CDC is actively working on to develop and release testing kits as soon as possible. As per the briefing today initial target is about 1 million testing kits which will be distributed to all the states in the coming weeks.

World map showing countries with COVID-19 cases
Locations with Confirmed COVID-19 Cases – As of 2nd March,2020

What May Happen? Worst case scenario in US.
As per CDC, more cases of COVID-19 are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more cases in the United States. It’s also likely that person-to-person spread will continue to occur, including in communities in the United States. It’s likely that at some point, widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States will occur.

Widespread transmission of COVID-19 would translate into large numbers of people needing medical care at the same time. Schools, childcare centers, workplaces, and other places for mass gatherings may experience more absenteeism. Public health and healthcare systems may become overloaded, with elevated rates of hospitalizations and deaths. Other critical infrastructure, such as law enforcement, emergency medical services, and transportation industry may also be affected. Health care providers and hospitals may be overwhelmed.

At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat it.

Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV. The spherical viral particles, colorized blue, contain cross-section through the viral genome, seen as black dots.
Image source: Public Health Image Library aka as PHIL

If you are traveling from other countries in to US, here is video on how B-Roll works at the Airports. This video created by CDC and USCIS.

CDC – B-Roll

Sources: CDC, World Health Organization. Images (public domain) credits CDC.

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