Ypsilanti, MI based Local, State and National News & Views.
Sunday, February 9, 2020
Novel Coronavirus: Situation In The United States.
By Editor in Chief & Publisher Jeff Brown.
The unfortunate news is that as of Saturday, Feb 8, China's National Health Commission has reported that 813 people have died from the Novel Corona Virus and 37,198 people have been infected in China. 811 have died in China and two people have died in Hong Kong and the Philippines. Also, a 60 year old American citizen has died in Wuhan, China from the virus. However, it is important to note that China has been accused of downplaying the numbers and that the number of people infected in China may be much, much higher.
So, what is the Novel Coronavirus situation here in the United States right now? Well, according to a February 7, 2020 press release from the CDC, imported cases of 2019-nCoV infection in travelers have been detected in the U.S. Person-to-person spread of 2019-nCoV also has been seen among close contacts of returned travelers from Wuhan, but at this time, this virus is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States.
Read the full February, 7 statement from the CDC below"
The U.S. government has taken unprecedented stepsexternal icon related to travel in response to the growing public health threat posed by this new coronavirus, including suspending entry in the United States of foreign nationals who have visited China within the past 14 days. Measures to detect this virus among those who are allowed entry into the United States (U.S. citizens, residents and family) who have been in China within 14 days also are being implemented.
Both MERS and SARS have been known to cause severe illness in people. The complete clinical picture with regard to 2019-nCoV is not fully understood. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, including resulting in death. Learn more about the symptoms associated with 2019-nCoV.
There are ongoing investigations to learn more. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.
Outbreaks of novel virus infections among people are always of public health concern. The risk from these outbreaks depends on characteristics of the virus, including how well it spreads between people, the severity of resulting illness, and the medical or other measures available to control the impact of the virus (for example, vaccine or treatment medications).
The potential public health threat posed by 2019-nCoV virus is high, both globally and to the United States. The fact that this virus has caused illness, including illness resulting in death, and sustained person-to-person spread in China is concerning. These factors meet two of the criteria of a pandemic. It’s unclear how the situation will unfold, but risk is dependent on exposure. At this time, some people will have an increased risk of infection, for example healthcare workers caring for 2019-nCoV patients and other close contacts of 2019-nCoV patients. For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV is considered low at this time.
What to Expect
More cases 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 the United States.
This is a picture of CDC’s laboratory test kit for the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). CDC is shipping the test kits to laboratories CDC has designated as qualified, including U.S. state and local public health laboratories, Department of Defense (DOD) laboratories and select international laboratories. The test kits are bolstering global laboratory capacity for detecting 2019-nCov.
The federal government is working closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners as well as public health partners to respond to this public health threat.
The public health response is multi-layered, with the goal of detecting and minimizing introductions of this virus in the United States so as to reduce the spread and the impact of this virus.
CDC established a 2019-nCoV Incident Management System on January 7, 2020. On January 21, 2020, CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center to better provide ongoing support to the 2019-nCoV response.
On January 27, 2020, CDC issued updated travel guidance for China, recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to all of the country (Level 3 Travel Health Notice).
The U.S. government has taken unprecedented steps with respect to travel in response to the growing public health threat posed by this new coronavirus:
Effective February 2, 2020 at 5pm, the U.S. government suspended entry of foreign nationals who have been in China within the past 14 days.
U.S. citizens, residents and their immediate family members who have been in Hubei province and other parts of mainland China are allowed to enter the United States, but they are subject to health monitoring and possible quarantine for up to 14 days.
CDC has deployed multidisciplinary teams to Washington, Illinois, California, Arizona, and Wisconsin to assist health departments with clinical management, contact tracing, and communications.
CDC has developed a real time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) test that can diagnose 2019-nCoV in respiratory and serum samples from clinical specimens. On January 24, 2020, CDC publicly posted the assay protocol for this test.
CDC submitted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) package to the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration on February 3, 2020 for its test.
While the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is believed to be low at this time, everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat:
It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine, taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.
If you are a healthcare provider, be on the look-out for people who recently traveled from China and have fever and respiratory symptoms.
If you are a healthcare provider caring for a 2019-nCoV patient or a public health responder, please take care of yourself and follow recommended infection control procedures.
For people who have had close contact with someone infected with 2019-nCoV who develop symptoms, contact your healthcare provider, and tell them about your symptoms and your exposure to a 2019-nCoV patient.
For people who are ill with 2019-nCoV, please follow CDC guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others. This guidance in on the CDC website.
Other Available Resources
The following resources are available with information on 2019-nCoV