“Proper now we’re in an aggressive containment mode,” CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield informed CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in an interview on Thursday.
“We do not know rather a lot about this virus,” he mentioned. “This virus might be with us past this season, past this yr, and I feel ultimately the virus will discover a foothold and we’ll get community-based transmission.”
As of Thursday, there have been 15 circumstances of the novel coronavirus confirmed in seven states: eight in California; two in Illinois; and one in Arizona, Washington, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Texas.
“The containment part is basically to present us extra time. This virus will develop into a group virus sooner or later in time, this yr or subsequent yr,” Redfield mentioned. “We have no proof that this coronavirus is basically embedded locally right now, however with that mentioned, we wish to intensify our surveillance in order that we’re basing these conclusions based mostly on information.”
Restrictions additionally apply to US residents who’ve been in China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, within the two weeks previous to their return to america. Upon their return, these residents shall be topic to a compulsory quarantine of as much as 14 days.
World Well being Group officers and different specialists have criticized journey restrictions on international nationals, even arguing that such restrictions may backfire.
US officers have defended the federal government’s response, saying they’re taking necessary steps to arrange for the virus and gradual its unfold — and that the timing of their efforts is essential.
“Frankly, some folks criticized after we determined that we wished to briefly droop journey into america from people who weren’t Individuals or everlasting residents who had been within the sizzling zone within the final 14 days. Some folks did not suppose that that was what they’d do,” Redfield informed Gupta on Thursday.
“Properly, we felt very strongly that our obligation was to do all we are able to to guard the American public,” Redfield mentioned. “I might slightly be criticized for over-protecting America than under-protecting America at this stage.”
Relating to the journey restrictions on international nationals, Gupta requested, “Clearly, Dr. Redfield, the virus would not discriminate based mostly on race. Why will we?”
In response, Redfield spoke extra to the restrictions on US residents, saying, “The problem right here was first a powerful dedication to handle the Individuals which can be going to come back again, whether or not they occur to doubtlessly have this virus or not — and also you noticed that with the over 800 people that the State Division has repatriated and we have assisted in that.”
Issues concerning the virus’ unfold
On the subject of stopping unfold of the virus and studying extra concerning the pathogen, Redfield informed Gupta that he thinks asymptomatic transmission of the novel coronavirus is feasible and regarding.
In different phrases, Redfield mentioned that an contaminated particular person not displaying signs may nonetheless transmit the virus to another person, based mostly on what he has discovered from the Chinese language Heart for Illness Management and Prevention.
“There’s been good communication with our colleagues to substantiate asymptomatic an infection, to substantiate asymptomatic transmission, to have the ability to get a greater deal with on the scientific spectrum of sickness in China. What we do not know although is how a lot of the asymptomatic circumstances are driving transmission,” Redfield mentioned.
“What I’ve discovered within the final two weeks is that the spectrum of this sickness is way broader than was initially offered. There’s way more asymptomatic sickness,” Redfield mentioned. “Quite a few the confirmed circumstances that we confirmed truly simply offered with just a little sore throat.”
Weeks into the outbreak, CDC nonetheless not invited to China
In the meantime, Redfield mentioned that the CDC has been keen to assist China in its efforts to struggle this outbreak. Practically six weeks after the CDC first supplied to assist China with the coronavirus outbreak, the provide nonetheless has not been accepted.
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus was first recognized in early January.
“There’s loads of data we do not know — that is why I supplied to supply help, direct help, and ship our CDC people over there again on January 6 to actually assist them collect that data and in addition to assist us see the knowledge first hand that we have to assist make the precise public well being suggestions for our nation,” Redfield mentioned.
“That letter has not been responded to but by the official Chinese language authorities,” he mentioned. “We do imagine that we’re the perfect on the planet on this area and we’re prepared to assist and help them, however they’re an unbiased nation that has to make that call that they’ll invite us in.”