(CelebrityAccess) — On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control warned that the coronavirus will almost certainly begin spreading in communities in the US and that Americans should begin making preparations now.
“It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more of a question of exactly when this will happen,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases for the CDC said teleconference with members of the press on Tuesday.
Dr. Messonnier said the CDC was not able to predict how severe an outbreak of the virus might be in the U.S., but cautioned that Americans should be preparing for “a significant disruption of our lives.”
“We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad,” Dr. Messonnier said.
While that seems like a bleak prognosis, Dr. Messonnier noted that the outbreak might be similar to other respiratory infections like influenza, and more prevalent during winter months.
Dr. Messonnier also outlined some of the steps that the CDC might advise towns and cities to take in the event of an outbreak, including modifying, postponing, or canceling mass gatherings.
Mass gatherings in China have become rare after the government ordered businesses to be closed, bringing much public life to halt. Across Asia, concerts, sporting events and other large public events have been canceled.
The recommendations, based on a 2017 report, singled out mass gathering events, including concerts, festivals, and sporting events as a risk factor during outbreaks.
To date, the coronavirus has infected nearly 80,000 people in 37 countries, causing at least 2,600 deaths with outbreaks in China, Korea, Iran, and Italy.
However, in China, where the virus is believed to have first took root, has seen infection rates begin to drop. According to the World Health Organization, new cases, which exceeded 2,000 a day in January, have now dropped to about 500 a day.