What Should You Do In The Face Of Potential U.S. Coronavirus Outbreak? Keep Calm And Carry On
"Don’t let fear and emotion drive the response to this virus," said Timothy Brewer of UCLA. The Washington Post spoke to epidemiology experts to find out what Americans should be doing as they watch nervously for more coronavirus cases. In other news: the mask industry is booming, but there's no need for one if you're a healthy adult; health workers question safety measures; a look at asymptomatic patients; and what social media sites are doing to combat misinformation.
The Washington Post:
How To Prepare For Coronavirus In The United States
There are the exam gloves, the surgical masks, the dubious supplements and the deceptive disinfectants. If unchecked Internet information is any guide, there’s an inexhaustible list of products you should buy to prepare for the spread of coronavirus in the United States — which, according to U.S. health officials, now appears inevitable. But here’s the thing: The virus may be novel, but you really don’t need to buy anything new or special to brace for it. The Washington Post spoke to epidemiology experts, and they said the most important aspect of preparedness costs nothing at all — calm. (Thebault and Horton, 2/26)
What To Know About The Coronavirus
Public health officials, experts and members of Congress this week sounded new alarms about the spread of a coronavirus that broke out in China late last year, after hundreds of cases erupted in Italy, Iran and South Korea in recent days. During an extraordinary news conference Tuesday, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the virus is almost certain to begin spreading in the United States. Asked about the prospects of an outbreak here, several top health experts used the word “inevitable.” (Wilson, 2/26)
Should You Wear A Face Mask To Protect Against Coronavirus?
New coronavirus cases are continuing to pop up worldwide. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked Americans to be prepared for the illness, known as COVID-19, to spread in the United States, saying it's not a question of if, but when. The face mask industry is booming amid concerns about the outbreak. The nation's largest surgical mask manufacturer is struggling to keep pace with skyrocketing demand for its products. (O'Kane and Baldwin, 2/26)
Do I Need To Wear A Face Mask To Block Coronavirus?
With concern about coronavirus coming to the United States on the rise, many people may be wondering if they should rush out to buy a face mask to filter out the pernicious germs. But unless you’re sick or taking care of someone who is sick, you don’t need to wear one, experts say. (Finucane, 2/26)
Amazon Cracks Down On Face Mask Price Gouging As Coronavirus Fears Grow
The price of disposable face masks is spiking online as Americans gird for a widening outbreak of the coronavirus. Consumer demand for the medical accessory appears to be surging even as government officials say healthy individuals do not need to wear the masks. (Cerullo, 2/26)
U.S. Health Workers Question Safety Measures As Coronavirus Looms
The U.S. health care system is trying to be ready for possible outbreaks, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned communities this week to prepare for the kind of spread now being seen in Iran, Italy, South Korea and other areas outside the virus's epicenter in China. The CDC notes there are only 15 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in the United States, plus 45 more cases among Americans who were brought home from the Diamond Princess cruise ship or via flights from Asia arranged by the U.S. State Department. (Noguchi, 2/26)
A Guide: How To Prepare Your Home For Coronavirus
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is telling Americans that they should be prepared for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak in their community. But what does preparedness look like in practice? The short answer: Don't panic — but do prepare. (Godoy, 2/26)
The New York Times:
They Were Infected With The Coronavirus. They Never Showed Signs.
In Anyang, China, five members of a family came down with the coronavirus after hosting a guest from Wuhan in early January. But the visitor, a 20-year-old woman, never got sick herself. Some individuals who are infected with the coronavirus can spread it even though they have no symptoms, studies have shown. Asymptomatic carriers are a well-known phenomenon. But the coronavirus is a new pathogen, and these cases may complicate scientific efforts to detect cases and to curb transmission. (Rabin, 2/26)
The Associated Press:
Facebook Bans Ads With False Claims About New Virus
Facebook said Wednesday that it is banning ads that make false claims about products tied to the new coronavirus. The social network said it is removing ads that feature a product and imply a limited supply, seeking create a “sense of urgency” in their mention of coronavirus. Ads that guarantee a cure or prevention are also banned, it said. (2/26)
Coronavirus Scams Are Infecting The Internet, But Social-Media Sites Are Fighting Back
On Wednesday, the social media giant Facebook said it had banned advertisements for products that claim to cure or prevent the disease. No such treatments currently exist, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nor is there a vaccine or a specific medicine to treat coronavirus. The attorneys general of Michigan and Connecticut have also urged residents to be wary of coronavirus-related scams, such as phony vaccines, which have been promoted online. A spokeswoman for Massachusetts’ attorney general, Maura Healey, urged consumers to avoid responding to spam e-mails or social-media postings that offer coronavirus cures. (Bray, 2/26)