CDC warns community spread could take place in US


Ten additional passengers have tested positive in Japan, but will only be added to the official tally after confirmation by the CDC. "That would be simply impossible". They added that they eventually expect to include Diamond Princess passengers who tested positive in Japan and have remained there for observation and treatment.

Instead, the measures being taken are buying health officials time for a response before the virus gains a foothold in the United States, she explained.

In China, the number of new cases of COVID-19 continued to decline on Friday, but South Korean officials battled to contain the rapidly spreading virus in its country.

Covid-19 has caused 2,236 deaths in mainland China and more than 75,000 infected worldwide, after being detected in the Chinese province of Hubei in late 2019.

Buses carrying American evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship leave the runway at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in San Antonio, Texas, on February 17, 2020. Eleven of them are at University of Nebraska Medical Center, five are in medical facilities near Travis Air Force Base in California and two are near Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

In coming weeks, if the virus begins to spread through USA communities, health authorities want to be ready to adopt school and business closures like those undertaken in Asian countries to contain the disease, Messonnier said.

According to a statement from the CDC, containment measures that were taken on the ship "may not have been sufficient to prevent transmission".

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Passengers who stayed on the ship will not be allowed to return to the United States until they have been off the ship for 14 days, without any symptoms or a positive test for the virus, the agency added.

Messonnier also said some Americans who were aboard the Diamond Princess are now hospitalized in Japan, including some who are in serious condition.

"The rumor of additional cases in Iran isn't confirmed yet".

No new coronavirus tests were positive, but three residents returned to the territory and are under quarantine.

Twenty-one of the patients were repatriated from foreign countries by the State Department.

US health officials are taking and will continue to take unprecedented actions to reduce the impact the virus will have on Americans, including coordinating with state and local health departments "to ready our public health workforce to respond to local cases" and prepare for a pandemic, or a rapid increase in the number of cases, Messonnier told reporters.

Americans considering traveling overseas shouldn't view such repatriation flights as standard practice by the USA government, Brownley warned, advising Americans to reconsider travel by cruise ship to, in, or from Asia.