Health experts sounded the alarm Friday over the worldwide threat of the coronavirus, with officials warning of its “likely” community spread in the United States and the World Health Organization cautioning that “the window of opportunity is narrowing” for containing the outbreak worldwide.
The COVID-19 coronavirus, which erupted in China in December, has killed 2,250 people and sickened almost 76,800 worldwide, the majority of cases in mainland China.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters Friday that U.S. health officials are preparing for the coronavirus to become a pandemic.
“We’re not seeing community spread here in the United States, yet, but it’s very possible, even likely, that it may eventually happen,” she said. “Our goal continues to be slowing the introduction of the virus into the U.S. This buys us more time to prepare communities for more cases and possibly sustained spread.”
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