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CDC update on Coronavirus

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Atlanta, GA – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a total of 1,629 cases of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in the United States. There have been 41 deaths related to the virus in the U.S.

In Tennessee, there are now 26 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. The outbreak first started in Wuhan, China, but cases have been identified in a growing number of other locations internationally, including the United States.


In addition to CDC, many public health laboratories are now testing for the virus that causes COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released interim infection prevention and control recommendations for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in healthcare settings (full guidance available here).

Current evidence suggests that person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 happens during close exposure to an infected person, primarily via respiratory droplets produced when the infected person coughs or sneezes.

In their new guidance, CDC highlights that facemasks are an acceptable alternative for clinical care of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients, especially when supply chains are limited. Current World Health Organization guidance recommends facemask, gown, gloves and eye protection for healthcare workers providing direct care to COVID-19 patients (for non- aerosol-generating procedures).

COVID-19 Now a Pandemic

A pandemic is a global outbreak of disease. Pandemics happen when a new virus emerges to infect people and can spread between people sustainably. Because there is little to no pre-existing immunity against the new virus, it spreads worldwide.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is infecting people and spreading easily from person-to-person. Cases have been detected in most countries worldwide and community spread is being detected in a growing number of countries. On March 11th, the COVID-19 outbreak was characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) external icon.

This is the first pandemic known to be caused by the emergence of a new coronavirus. In the past century, there have been four pandemics caused by the emergence of novel influenza viruses. As a result, most research and guidance around pandemics is specific to influenza, but the same premises can be applied to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandemics of respiratory disease follow a certain progression outlined in a “Pandemic Intervals Framework.” Pandemics begin with an investigation phase, followed by recognition, initiation, and acceleration phases. The peak of illnesses occurs at the end of the acceleration phase, which is followed by a deceleration phase, during which there is a decrease in illnesses.

Different countries can be in different phases of the pandemic at any point in time and different parts of the same country can also be in different phases of a pandemic.

There are ongoing investigations to learn more. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.


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