Past Outbreaks Provide a Roadmap for U.S. Government Response to Coronavirus Threat

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While the threat of the new coronavirus in the United States remains limited, a network of U.S. government agencies are already furiously ramping up efforts to contain the disease, should an outbreak occur.
“We are working to keep the risk low,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who is leading the federal government’s response, at a press conference Friday. So far, the overwhelming number of new cases of the virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, remain in China. There are only 11 confirmed cases in the U.S.

The good news, some officials and infectious disease experts tell TIME, is that U.S. agencies are not starting from scratch. Previous outbreaks, including Ebola, Zika and SARS have informed the government’s response to the new coronavirus. “The [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] generally, if you look at crisis management, has learned a lot over the years,” says Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, before striking a note of confidence. “There is no other public health agency in the world that can do what CDC does in the way they do it.”
An effective response to any infectious disease requires that the White House, a network of federal agencies, Congress and parts of the military react simultaneously, sometimes working in parallel and sometimes coordinating their efforts. Here’s a look at what the U.S. governm…

Source: TIME: HealthCategory: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

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Source: Acta Medica PortuguesaCategory: General Medicine Tags: Acta Med Port Source Type: research

Abstract
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