Is the US, CDC prepared for an outbreak?

White House considers ban on China flights amid coronavirus outbreak


At the height of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa five years ago, CDC officials faced what seemed like an impossible request: Could U.S. airports screen passengers for the deadly virus when they arrived from three hard-hit nations, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone?  

“We didn’t know it was possible,” said Tom Frieden, then-director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The Department of Homeland Security said, ‘Actually, we can help you with that.’”

That brainstorming session in the White House Situation Room created an essential tool now critical to limiting another emerging threat, coronavirus, which has sickened more than 6,000 and killed at least 132 in China

Public health officials are racing to halt the spread of the mysterious virus, identified last month in the country’s central city of Wuhan, so it does not proliferate in the United States. With no vaccine to prevent people from acquiring the illness, officials are relying on public health tools of identifying, testing and isolating people sickened with the respiratory virus to prevent its spread.


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