Keep Reading. Subscribe Today.

Stay connected with our community and support nationally-acclaimed local news coverage. Sign up for a subscription today. Cancel anytime.

  • Already a subscriber?

Locals stock up on masks as CDC warns coronavirus coming to U.S.

Sumter-area health care agencies offer health tips

By SHELBIE GOULDING
shelbie@theitem.com
Posted 2/27/20

Shelves that usually display face masks at several local pharmacies were cleared out as officials warned the coronavirus is getting closer to spreading in the United States.The Walgreens at the …

This item is available in full to subscribers

Locals stock up on masks as CDC warns coronavirus coming to U.S.

Sumter-area health care agencies offer health tips

Posted

Shelves that usually display face masks at several local pharmacies were cleared out as officials warned the coronavirus is getting closer to spreading in the United States. The Walgreens at the corner of Broad Street and Bultman Drive had none in stock as of late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, according to an employee. The CVS on Calhoun Street was also out of stock, as well as the CVS on Alice Drive. An employee said stock ran out as soon as it was off the truck last week. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and has now been detected in about 37 locations internationally, including cases in the U.S. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump said the coronavirus is “very well under control in our country” as the administration asked Congress for an additional $2.5 billion to speed development of a vaccine, support preparedness and response activities and to gather needed equipment and supplies, according to The Associated Press. However, on Wednesday, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York unveiled an $8.5 billion proposal after the CDC released its current update on the coronavirus. The CDC warned the American public on Tuesday to prepare for an outbreak of the disease. In the U.S., there are 12 travel-related cases and two person-to-person cases, according to the CDC. Schumer’s $8.5 billion plan is more than triple Trump’s request. It includes $4.5 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services to work to contain the outbreak in the U.S., $1 billion to develop and manufacture a vaccine, $1 billion to help other countries battle the coronavirus and $2 billion to reimburse states for costs incurred in tackling the outbreak, according to the AP. In a CDC media telebriefing with Nancy Messonnier, director of National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, she said as the coronavirus continues to expand, it isn’t a matter of if the disease comes to the U.S. — it’s a matter of when. “The U.S. has been implementing an aggressive containment strategy that requires detecting, tracking and isolating all cases,” Messonnier said in the telebriefing. “We’ve restricted travel into the United States while also issuing extensive travel advisories for countries currently experiencing community spread. To date, our containment strategies have been largely successful. As a result, we have very few cases in the United States and no spread in the community. But as more and more countries experience community spread, successful containment at our borders becomes harder and harder. Ultimately, we expect we will see community spread in this country.” Messonnier said communities and countries currently affected by the coronavirus are Hong Kong, Italy, Iran, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. The CDC expects more cases to appear as the disease continues to spread, including more cases in the U.S.

With word that the coronavirus will eventually make its way to the U.S., local health care facilities are taking an initiative in preparing for more patients in the near future.