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CDC warns ‘many people will be exposed to coronavirus’ in the US this year or next

People in a crowd wearing face masks. (Dreamstime/TNS)
March 09, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed during a media call on Monday that the coronavirus is still spreading in the U.S., and most Americans are expected to be infected.

CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Director Dr. Nancy Messonnier told reporters that “many people” will become infected in 2020 or 2021.

“It’s fair to say that as the trajectory of the outbreak continues, many people in the United States will at some point in time, either this year or next, be exposed to this virus,” Messonnier said. “There’s essentially no immunity against the virus in the population because it’s a new virus.”

However, Messonnier added, “Based on what we know about this virus, we do not expect most people to experience this illness.”

Messonnier stressed that those at higher risk of contracting coronavirus are the elderly and elderly adults with underlying health issues.

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Of the more than 110,000 cases of coronavirus worldwide, 80 percent of cases were considered mild, while 15 to 20 percent were considered severe. Approximately two percent of cases have involved individuals younger than 19.

“This seems to be a disease that affects adults, and most seriously, older adults,” Messonnier said, adding that adults older than age 80 are at the highest risk of serious illness and death.

Messonnier cautioned Americans not to panic and clear the shelves of their local stores.

“We do not think this is the time for Americans to go out and get masks,” she said, adding that masks are more for people at highest risks and healthcare workers.

“Please fight their urge to buy a mask and save them for the people who really need them,” she added.

The CDC recommended having some supplies on hand, such as routine medications, over-the-counter cold medications, and enough household items and groceries to prepare for longer periods of time at home.

Additionally, the CDC reiterated the federal government’s recommendation to avoid cruise ship travel, and further, to avoid non-essential travel, and avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated locations.

The CDC stated that 78 state and local public health labs “now have the capacity to test up to 75,000 people” for coronavirus.

According to John Hopkins’ latest tracking data on Monday afternoon, there are now 113,584 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, of which 62,496 have recovered, and 3,996 have died. In the U.S. alone, there are 607 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

According to the New York Times’ latest update, 26 people have now died in the U.S., most of which occurred at the Life Care long term care facility in the Seattle, Wash. area.