It is no longer “a matter of or … but when” the coronavirus will spread in the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials said Tuesday when they told their parents to prepare their children for the possibility of school closures.
The CDC said that Americans may need to prepare for “tele-training” if the virus continues to spread throughout the US.
So far, 57 cases have been confirmed – 14 in the country, 40 of civilians repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan and three evacuated from China.
And although the threat is low right now, Dr. Nancy Messonier, director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, says the public must prepare for the virus to become a pandemic.
“It is not so much a question of whether this will happen in this country, but a matter of when this will happen,” she told reporters in a media call on Tuesday.
“We ask the American public to prepare for the expectation that this can be bad.”
Dr. Nancy Messonier (photo) of the CDC says that the public should prepare if the corona virus spreads in the US and suggested that parents ask schools if they plan to attend classes via the internet
Dr. Messonier says it is not a question of whether, but when, spread will take place in the US while the virus continued to spread abroad. Pictured: Doctors look at a scan of a coronavirus patient at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital, February 16
Dr. Messonier is so concerned that she suggested that parents call their children’s schools and ask if there are plans for children to go to class via the Internet or via video chat when the buildings have to close.
In fact, she told reporters that she had already called her own children’s school to ask how it would handle closures as a result of the outbreak.
Dr. Messonier said that while the threat of coronavirus is currently low in the US, the international spread of the infection abroad makes it increasingly difficult to limit it to the US border and within the nation.
That is why she proposed recommendations that the public could make if the virus reached pandemic levels.
At the community level, this means that less personal contact is needed at schools and officers and that personal meetings are replaced by teleschooling and teleconferencing.
“I told my children that they are not at risk now, but that we as a family need to prepare for a significant disruption in our lives,” Dr. said. Messonier.
She said she had called her children’s school and asked if they have plans for teleschool education or if the virus should close the building.
“[Parents should] ask schools, are there plans for teleschool? Do you have to think about what you would do for childcare when schools close? “Dr. Messonier said.
The White House has requested $ 2.5 billion to fund better virus follow-up and treatment development. On the photo: a doctor treats a coronavirus-infected patient in a hospital in Wuhan, 24 February
However, other health experts have advised parents not to respond and to remove their children from school.
They quote that the number of infections in children is low and that when symptoms appear, they are mild.
“The literature only reports about 100 pediatric cases,” said Dr. Terri Lynn Stillwell, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan. NPR.
More than 80,000 people worldwide have been infected with coronavirus and more than 2,600 people have died – mostly older patients with pre-existing conditions.
During the media call Dr. Messonier also provided an update on test kits, some of which were defective, that were sent to national and local health departments.
“I’m frustrated, as I know many of you are, that we’ve had problems with our test,” she said.
“I want to assure you that we are working on adapting the kit and I hope to send a new version to national and local jurisdictions soon.”
She added that 400 samples were tested on the CDC on Monday evening and that there is currently no backlog despite the faulty tests.
In the meantime, the White House has requested $ 2.5 billion for better virus follow-up, treatment development and increased production of a stock of 300 million face masks and protective equipment for American health workers.
“I am deeply concerned that we are far behind the eighth ball,” said Senator Patty Murray, a Washington democrat, at a Tuesday Senate Subcommittee hearing.