CDC Warns Of Coronavirus Spreading Within U.S.

By Greg Hahne
Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 5:49pm
Updated: Friday, March 6, 2020 - 1:57pm
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning people to stay prepared for community spread of the coronavirus, named COVID-19, in the United States.

With the warning in effect, it’s time to start looking at what to do within local communities. The CDC warned it’s not a matter of if it will come, but when.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the CDC said that even though its focus is still on people who are traveling, it may need to change focus to fighting community spread.

“If we are looking at the trajectory of expecting that there likely will be community spread of this virus in the United States, the case definition may change away from narrowly around people with travel,” Messonnier said.

However, Pima County Interim Health Director Dr. Bob England says this is no time to panic.

“What we need to do is impose the control measures we are now to try and slow its introduction into this country. But once it becomes widespread here, back off and do the same kind of control measures that we do every cold and flu season,” England said.

England noted that the coronavirus is a serious respiratory disease. He said Arizona counties and tribal communities are working to develop a public health response if the disease begins circulating widely in the state.

There was one case of COVID-19 in Maricopa County. That person had traveled to Wuhan, China, and was quarantined at home. He has since been tested and cleared to leave his quarantine.

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