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Tension Mounts As United States Prepares For Coronavirus Crisis



Top U.S. public health officials has advised on Tuesday that Americans should prepare for the spread of the coronavirus in communities across the country.
"It's not so much a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness," Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the head of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a media briefing Tuesday.
Measures to contain the virus in the U.S. so far have involved restricting travel to and from China — the center of the outbreak — and isolating identified cases
But Messonnier said evidence that the virus is spreading to countries outside the region, such as Iran and Italy, has raised the CDC's "level of concern and expectation that we'll see spread" in the U.S.
As of Tuesday, more than 300 cases had been reported in Italy. Iran had nearly 100 cases.
"When you start to see sustained transmission in other countries throughout the world, it's inevitable that it will come to the United States," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC News.
In the U.S., 57 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. The majority are among repatriated residents who were passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, docked in Japan.
The CDC said Americans should prepare for the possibility of disruptions to their daily lives if the virus were to start spreading in the U.S. That could include closing schools, working from home and delaying elective medical procedures.

Source: nbcnews
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