CDC formally says now is the time for businesses, hospitals, communities schools & individuals to begin preparing to respond to coronavirus. More via email.
Comments made during telebriefing by Nancy Messonnier, M.D., Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (an element of the CDC).
CDC Media Telebriefing: Update on COVID-19
Tuesday Feb. 25, 2020
The link below leads to the audio transcript.
Official Coronavirus Information Pages
Official Pandemic Preparedness Guidance:
(While some of the resources below were prepared for pandemic influenza, the broader guidance contain therein are directly applicable to the current coronavirus crisis)
Pub Health Guidance for Community-Level Preparedness & Response (SARS)
Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist
Faith-based & Community Org. Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Checklist
WHO Checklist for Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Planning
Get Your Workplace Ready for Pandemic Flu
Coronavirus Explodes in S. Korea
U.S. Forces On Alert
2/17 – DHS/HHS: Charter flight w/ AMCITS from quarantined vessel in Japan arrives at Travis AFB, CA. Onward quarantine at Travis or Joint Base San Antonio.
2/18 – DHS/CDC place temp travel restrictions on US citizens from Diamond Princess cruise ship due to exposure to COVID-19 coronavirus.
2/18 – US Embassy Japan issues update on and letters to US citizen passengers remaining aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
2/19 – Commander, US Forces Korea implements elevated health protection measures and travel restrictions for USFK pers due to COVID-2019 outbreak.
2/20 – US State Dept. issues alert urging reconsideration of travel by cruise ship to/in E. Asia and the Asia-Pacific Region due to COVID-2019 coronavirus.
2/21 – US Embassy S. Korea issues Health Alert re dangerous incr in number of COVID-19 cases and warns community-based transmission is occurring.
2/21 – USGOV warns international repatriation flights SHOULD NOT be relied upon as an option by those under poss risk of quarantine due to COVID-19.
2/21 – US Embassy Italy issues Health Alert warning of 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the north of the country. Schools, offices & public spaces closed.
What You Need To Know
On nine occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding safety and security matters. Eight of these alerts dealt with the increasingly dangerous situation with the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.
Most important for this report, on Wednesday we were informed that the Commander of US Forces in Korea implemented increased health protection measures and travel restrictions for all USFK personnel due to an outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Daegu, South Korea’s 4th largest city located 148 miles south east of Seoul. Daegu is also home to the U.S. Army Garrison Daegu, which consists of consists of 14 U.S. military installations and a combined total of more than 10,000 active duty and civilian personnel and contractors.
USFK previously imposed a 14-day quarantine for all U.S. troops headed to South Korea after visiting China earlier this month.
As of the time of this report’s preparation on Friday evening (2/21), the number of coronavirus cases in South Korea has reached 433, which is more than triple the case numbers from just 48 hours earlier. At least 58 of these cases can be traced to a single individual. Another 15 were infected at the local hospital, and at least two have died.
The U.S. Embassy in Seoul is warning Americans in or traveling to S. Korea to maintain good protective hygiene, to regularly monitor the CDC website, as well as that of your airline as schedules are changing rapidly..
South Korea’s prime minister called the fast spread of the new coronavirus in the country a “grave” situation and urged people to refrain from holding religious events in crowded places.
CRUISE SHIP WARNING
On Thursday, the State Department issued an alert urging U.S. citizens to reconsider travel by cruise ship to or in E. Asia and the Asia-Pacific Region due to the coronavirus. The State Department also warned that U.S. citizens planning travel by cruise ship elsewhere should be aware that, due to the current public health situation, many countries have implemented strict screening procedures in order to prevent the spread of the virus and you may be subject to quarantine procedures implemented by the local authorities.
WHY ARE U.S. CASE NUMBERS SO LOW?
Some readers may be wondering why reported coronavirus infection numbers in the U.S. are so low, when cases are now being reported in more than 30 countries, as well as the fact that inbound travel restrictions and quarantine measures exist only for those traveling from or through China?
Lets look at some related numbers:
The CDC estimates that from October 1, 2019, through February 15, 2020, there have been at least 29,000,000 flu illnesses, 280,000 flu hospitalizations, and at least 16,000 deaths. As there are problems with the coronavirus test developed by the CDC, only three of the more than 100 public health labs across the country are able to test for the coronavirus in addition to the CDC’s headquarters in Atlanta. This delay in producing a reliable test has, in turn, delayed CDC’s plan to screen samples collected by its national flu-surveillance network. Given this inability to properly conduct tests on patients in a timely manner, many scientists, public health officials and health workers believe there are likely a much higher number of coronavirus infections lurking in the U.S., and may also account for some of the deaths.
MAJOR OUTBREAKS IN ITALY AND IRAN
On Friday, AlertsUSA subscribers were also notified of a Health Alert issued by the US Embassy in Rome, Italy warning of an outbreak of COVID-19 in the north of the country. In this developing situation, authorities put ten towns on lockdown after a cluster of cases was located in a handful of small towns in the Lombardy region. The first to fall ill from the virus was a 38-year-old Italian who met with someone who had returned from China on January 21. The latest confirmed case count stands at 38, along with 2 deaths.
Iran on Saturday ordered the closure of schools, universities and cultural centers after a coronavirus outbreak that has killed five people in the Islamic republic. The COVID-19 outbreak in Iran first surfaced on Wednesday, when authorities said it claimed the lives of two elderly people in Qom, a Shiite holy city south of the capital. The latest confirmed case count stands at 38.
CHINA STILL SAYS NO
As of the time of this report’s preparation on Friday (2/21), China continues to rebuff offers by the Centers for Disease Control to send teams of specialists to help both in their response, as well as to learn more about the nature of this virus.
OFFICIAL CASE NUMBERS
As of the time of this report’s preparation on Friday (2/21), official World Health Organization case numbers (which are widely believed to be underreported by China) are as follows:
76,796 confirmed (1021 new)
China (numbers widely believed to be underreported.)
75,569 confirmed (894 new)
2,239 deaths (118 new)
Outside of China
1200 confirmed (127 new)
WHO RISK ASSESSMENT
China Very High
Regional Level High
Global Level High
Official CDC case numbers for the the U.S. are as follows:
Travel Related 12
Total Tested 414
According to the CDC, these numbers represents cases detected and tested in the United States through U.S. public health surveillance systems since January 21, 2020. It does not include people who returned to the U.S. via State Department-chartered flights.
Acknowledged states with confirmed cases:
Also Worth Noting:
The following is from Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, during a CDC Telebriefing Update on COVID-19 on Friday, February 21, 2020.
“We’re not seeing spread here in the United States yet, but it is possible, even likely, that it may eventually happen. Our goal continues to be slowing the introduction of the virus into the U.S. This buys us more time to prepare our communities for more cases and possibly sustained spread. This new virus represents a tremendous public health threat. We don’t yet have a vaccine for this novel virus, nor do we have a medicine to treat it specifically. We are taking and will continue to take aggressive action to reduce the impact of this virus, that it will have on the communities in the U.S. we are working with state, local, and territorial health departments to ready our public health work force to respond to local cases and the possibility this outbreak could become a pandemic.”
Additional Coronavirus News Items
Asymptomatic Wuhan woman shows why outbreak ‘will be hard to stop’
Trump furious after infected AMCITS allowed to fly home with other passengers
Chinese study finds COVID-19 virus more contagious than SARS or MERS
Moon: virus spread in local communities ‘very severe’
Amid Coronavirus, the World Closes Its Doors to China: ‘I Feel So Isolated’
China deploys 40 incinerators to Wuhan amid fears of death toll ‘cover up’
China Turns to Health-Rating Apps to Control Movements During Outbreak
As Cases Mount, Japan Is Rapidly Becoming a Coronavirus Hotbed
‘Bureaucrats were in charge’: Japanese doctor blasts ship quarantine
Coronavirus Has U.S. Cities Stretching to Monitor Self-Quarantined Americans
Coronavirus Patient Reinfected 10 Days After Leaving Hospital
Dissent becomes the next victim of coronavirus as China cracks down
Coronavirus ‘lab leakage’ rumors spreading
Global efforts to develop vaccines, drugs to fight the coronavirus
China changes method of counting virus infected… again
Two Diamond Princess passengers die after coronavirus quarantine
South Korean city on high alert as coronavirus cases soar at ‘cult’ church
Coronavirus in N Korea could be ‘much more lethal’ than in China
Coronavirus ‘could cost global economy $1.1tn in lost income’.
How the coronavirus spread around the world
Two die of coronavirus in Iran, first fatalities in Middle East
If you want to keep up in real time consider:
OTHER SMS ALERTS FROM THIS WEEK
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE
2/19 – Germany: Shootings at 2 hookah bars in Hanau, 15 miles east of Frankfurt. At least 8 killed, 5 injured. Multiple shooters remain at large. AlertsUSA monitoring.
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