CDC prioritizing coronavirus information distribution to prevent outbreak, pandemic

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- With a vaccine for COVID-19 not yet available, federal officials said agencies are working to distribute more information about coronavirus to the public in hopes of reducing the impact it will have on the U.S.

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control said on a media conference call Friday that they are closely coordinating with the State Department to keep travelers informed with up-to-the-minute guidance, including updates on cruise ship travel.

“We never expected that we would catch every single traveler with coronavirus returning from China given the nature of this virus and how it’s spreading,” they said.

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To be clear, CDC officials said, they are not yet seeing the virus spread on a community scale in the U.S.; rather, it remains not only possible but likely that it may eventually happen.

“This new virus represents a tremendous new health threat," one official said on the call. "We don’t yet have a vaccine for this virus, nor do we have medicine to treat it specifically.”

The CDC is undertaking actions to reduce the impact the virus will have on the U.S. by readying the public health workforce to respond to local cases — and the possibility this outbreak could become a pandemic.

“We’re working with healthcare systems across the country to reinforce infection-control principles,” another official said. “People requiring care, working with supply chain partners to make sure what medical supplies are needed and available.”

Nebraska Medicine Dr. Mark Rupp said they are taking all precautions that are necessary to make sure patients, health providers, and the community are safe.

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