After an initial outbreak downplayed by Chinese officials and a limited number of cases worldwide, it now appears the COVID-19 virus is making its terrible grand entrance onto the global stage.
Now, at least one Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official is warning it could get much, much worse.
Although the contagious novel coronavirus caused the Chinese communist government to place hundreds of millions of people on lockdown, its presence in other countries was relatively low until recently.
But a spike in confirmed cases across several continents has governmeants taking drastic measures to isolate and end the viral outbreak.
In South Korea, where the number of confirmed cases quadrupled over the course of just two days, according to The Washington Post, the government has partially locked down two cities. Daegu and Cheongdo were declared “special management zones,” The Korea Herald reported.
While it’s not a full quarantine, the order gives the outbreak a sense of urgency.
Authorities in the crowded peninsula of 51 million will have to work with caution and determination to keep the country from following the same path as China.
A comparatively smaller spike of COVID-19 cases in the Lombardy region of Italy caught officials off guard. According to Deutsche Welle, public buildings and schools in towns across northern Italy are being shuttered to prevent additional transmission.
Local media seems to hint the affected areas are beginning to see the precursors of a more serious reaction, as multiple train stations near the outbreak have been ordered to close.
A similar outbreak in Iran led to the deaths of two men before the country was even listed as having any confirmed cases by the World Health Organization.
In America, fear of the coronarivus is now being seen.
Entertainment giant Sony announced the company is no longer attending a major industry convention in Boston, PAX East, “due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19.”
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, says U.S. health officials are undertaking major preparation for a possible health disaster in the country.
“We are working with state, local and territorial health departments to ready our public health workforce to respond to local cases and the possibility this outbreak could become a pandemic,” Messonnier told reporters Friday.
U.S. CDC official Nancy Messonnier: “We are working with state, local, and territorial health departments to ready our public health workforce to respond to local cases and the possibility this outbreak could become a pandemic”
— BNO Newsroom (@BNODesk) February 21, 2020
It’s unclear if or how the CDC would declare the health emergency a pandemic, or what specific measures the agency would take in that situation.
The virus’ impact here at home and abroad has not been fully realized, but there’s a good chance that the worst is yet to come.
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