Spread of coronavirus in the U.S. becoming more likely, CDC says

The coronavirus is showing no signs of slowing down. It sent stocks tumbling this week and some Gonzaga students are being told to fly home from their study abroad programs. 

The CDC says the spread of the virus in the U.S. is becoming more likely. It says it’s not a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when’ the coronavirus will begin to impact everyday lives. 

“That may include canceling mass gatherings, sporting events, having people work from home as much as possible,” said Dr. Celine Grounder with NYU School of Medicine. 

The virus, also known as COVID-19, has spread to every continent except for Antarctica. There are more than 82,000 cases around the globe, and at least 2,800 deaths- the majority of them in China. 

Of the 60 confirmed cases in the U.S., four are in Spokane. A spokeswoman at Sacred Heart Medical Center says those patients remain in satisfactory condition. 

The CDC is investigating an alarming case in California where a woman who tested positive had no recent travel history. 

At the White House, President Trump tried to ease fears about the possible spread. 

“Because of all we’ve done, the risk to the American people remains very low,” said Trump. 

He’s pledging $2.5 billion to fight the virus and says Vice President Pence will lead the White House Coronavirus Task Force. 

Coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The CDC says those signs could take up to weeks to appear after a person is exposed. 

Spokane Regional Health says the risk of spread in the area remains low. However, the best way to protect yourself is to wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your face.