Coronavirus has been contained with an "aggressive approach in the United States," but preparations need to be in place in case things change, Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday.
"We've been able to keep the numbers down," Schuchat said in an interview on "CBS This Morning," after another CDC official Tuesday warned of an imminent coronavirus pandemic that could create "significant disruption" in Americans' lives.
"It can be a confusing time right now, as we've seen the coronavirus spread in China and now in a number of other countries," Schuchat told CBS while stressing that in the United States, there have been "only 14 cases detected through our public health system and medical system and 43 other cases detected among people repatriated from hot spots in China or on the cruise ship."
But with outbreaks growing in Italy and South Korea, "we need to be prepared in case things change here."
Containment efforts aren't being concentrated on a specific part of the country, as "we need to be ready everywhere," said Schuchat, adding that CDC is working aggressively on a border strategy at airports and with clinicians to detect people early.
"We've learned a lot in the last few weeks about the virus," she said. "It doesn't seem to be as severe as we first feared, but it does seem to be quite transmissible and some people have very mild symptoms or possibly even no symptoms at all."
The elderly are most at risk for severe cases, as are adults with chronic conditions such as diabetes, Schuchat said, adding that the disease has not been seen to a great extent in children like the flu is.
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