PORTLAND, Ore. — The Centers for Disease Control is telling Americans to prepare for the coronavirus to start spreading in the United States. CDC officials have said it’s not a matter of if it will spread here, but when.
Here are some common questions and answers about the coronavirus:
Q: Have you seen “COVID-19” floating around in reference to coronavirus?
A: COVID-19 stands for coronavirus 2019
Q: What is the CDC saying over social media? This is a tweet from the CDC:
A: "Currently there are very few cases of #COVID19 in the US & no reported community spread. But as more countries see community spread, successful containment becomes harder and CDC is preparing for community spread in the US."
Q: What are the up-to-date numbers concerning coronavirus?
A: Globally there are more than 80,000 confirmed cases. So far in the U.S. there are only 57 confirmed cases. There are none in Oregon and one confirmed case in Washington.
Q: Are there people who are being monitored?
A: Yes. People who have had close contact with someone who was diagnosed with the coronavirus are being closely monitored. As of last check, there are 76 people in Oregon and 384 people in Washington.
Q: Would we be prepared if it spread to the United States?
A: The CDC is now advising employers and schools to think about planning for possible widespread disruptions like limiting travel and large meetings, allowing workers to tele-work, and closing schools or allowing internet school work.
While talk of the coronavirus might sound scary, it’s important to also remember the CDC has emphasized that the immediate health risk to the general public is low. There is not a vaccine yet. The National Institutes of Health say trials could start within a couple months. But it’ll probably be another year, at least, before it’s widely available.