The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday alerted Americans to begin preparing for the spread of coronavirus in the United States after the flu-like virus surfaced in several more countries.
The announcement signals a change in tone for the U.S. health agency, which had largely been focused on efforts to stop the virus from entering the country and quarantining individuals traveling from China.
“The data over the past week about the spread in other countries has raised our level of concern and expectation that we are going to have community spread here,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the CDC head of respiratory diseases, told reporters on a conference call.
What is not known, she said, is when it will arrive and how severe a U.S. outbreak might be. “Disruption to everyday life might be severe,” she cautioned.
Businesses, schools and families should begin having discussions about the possibility that their lives may be disrupted if the virus begins spreading within U.S. communities.
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