Coronavirus Update: CDC Outlines Pandemic Planning, Announces 53 Confirmed Cases in U.S.

"It's not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more of a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness."

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday that they expect the Coronavirus to spread in the United States.

“It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more of a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said.

Now, the CDC is asking Americans to prepare.  They outlined their pandemic planning Tuesday.  Click HERE to view the full report issued from the CDC.

All the information below comes directly from the Center for Disease Control.

As of today, there are a total of 53 cases in the United States, according to the CDC.  No deaths have been reported from these 53 cases.  As of February 23, 2020, there were 76,936 reported cases in mainland China and 1,875 cases in locations outside of mainland China.

How It Spreads:

The CDC says the person-to-person spread of Coronavirus appears to occur mainly by respiratory transmission.  However, how easily the virus is transmitted between people is still unclear.

Symptoms:

Signs and symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Cases In The United States:

As of February 23, 2020, the CDC says Coronavirus cases have been diagnosed in the following six states: Arizona (one case), California (eight cases), Illinois (two cases), Massachusetts (one case), Washington (one case), and Wisconsin (one case).  The CDC also says 12 of these 14 cases were related to travel to China, and two cases occurred through person-to-person transmission to close household contacts of a person who was diagnosed with the Coronavirus.

CDC Public Health Response:

As of February 24, 2020, a total of 1,336 CDC staff members have been involved in the Coronavirus response, including clinicians (i.e., physicians, nurses, and pharmacists), epidemiologists, veterinarians, laboratorians, communicators, data scientists and modelers, and coordination staff members.

CDC teams are working with the Department of Homeland Security at 11 airports where all flights from China are being directed to screen travelers returning to the United States, and to refer them to U.S. health departments for oversight of self-monitoring.

Airport Screenings:

As of February 23, 2020, a total of 46,016 air travelers had been screened at the 11 U.S. airports to which all flights from China are being directed, according to the CDC.  Since February 2, travelers to the United States who have been in China in the preceding 14 days have been limited to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and others as outlined in a presidential proclamation.

Incoming passengers are screened for fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Any travelers with signs or symptoms of illness receive a more comprehensive public health assessment.

As of February 23, 11 travelers were referred to a hospital and tested for infection; one tested positive and was isolated and managed medically.

Seventeen travelers were quarantined for 14 days because of travel from Hubei Province, China, an area that was designated as high risk for exposure.

Laboratory Testing:

CDC laboratories are testing for SARS-CoV-2 to assist with diagnosis of COVID-19, which is the Coronavirus.  The CDC’s labs are currently working to develop a vaccine.