EXCLUSIVE: Inside The CDC – Tracking The Coronavirus


ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) The World Health Organization says nearly 1400 people have died from the coronavirus, mostly in China where the virus orginated from. So far, the CDC has tested more than 400 case from airport screenings across the US and local health departments and 15 people have tested positive for the disease.

The CDC’s Emergency Operations Center in Atlanta is working around the clock. Medical teams are tracking trends and keeping a close watch on the coronavirus that has now spread to a dozen countries including Australia, India, Canada, UK, France and Russia. Common signs of the infectious disease include fever, cough and shortness of breath. It can also lead to kidney failure, pneumonia and death.

The CDC says around 600 people are in quarantine across the country and most of them are State Department employees who recently returned from China. “The cases in the United States have mostly been in travelers who are returning from Hubei province in Central China. There have been two instances of transmission in the US that have been household contacts from people who returned from Wuhan and developed symptoms,” said Jay Butler, Deputy Director, Infectious Diseases CDC.

The CDC has deployed around 800 employees across US airports and federal quarantine sites. “There’s a lot of activity going on – it’s settling into a rhythm and there’s still a lot of urgency about different aspects of the response and that will be going on for some weeks yet,” said Edward Rouse, Senior Advisor, Emergency Operations, CDC. “We don’t know the potential of this virus and what it can do. We want to be aggressive, lean forward and stay ahead of this epidemic,” said Butler.

The CDC has issued a travel warning urging Americans not to travel to China unless its absolutely necessary. The CDC says 42 of the 50 states have at least one person under investigation for the coronavirus but the southern states are not on the list. However, there are 11 airports across the US that are screening passengers including Atlanta’s Hartsifled Jackson International.

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