Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases division, said Tuesday that Americans should prepare for the possibility of potential disruptions in connection with the coronavirus.
Dr. Messonnier explained that the CDC's concern level has risen recently due to the coronavirus' impact in other countries.
"It's not so much a question of if this will happen any more, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness," Dr. Messonnier said during a press conference on Tuesday, per NBC News.
Possible spread-preventing measures could include temporary school closings, telecommuting, and more. While Dr. Messonnier reiterated that the current risk in the U.S. indeed remains low, with the bulk of confirmed cases having occurred among travelers who were infected overseas, she still urged for preparatory measures to be taken seriously.
Meanwhile, in China, a World Health Organization team reported within the last week that another slowdown in reports of new cases had been documented.
According to the CDC's most recent update on public health response measures here in the States, the coronavirus (formally known as COVID-19) is currently still "not recognized to be spreading in U.S. communities." Noting that the symptoms are "similar" to those associated with influenza, the CDC—though it should most certainly go without saying—is urging people to receive the influenza vaccine.
For recommendations on prevention and treatment, click here for the updated CDC guide.