BRYAN, Texas — It is not a matter of if coronavirus will spread in the United States, it has become a matter of when.
"We know that this virus spreads person to person," said Dr. Seth Sullivan M.D., the alternative health authority for the Brazos County Health Department. "I don't think it's surprising to public health officials that we are going to see person to person transmission here in the United States."
The Center for Disease Control said Tuesday that it is preparing for the spread of the disease, nicknamed COVID-19, in the U.S.
Globally there are more than 81-thousand cases. There are 57 cases in the U.S., but as other countries start seeing the spread it will only get harder to contain.
"Unfortunately there aren't any treatment options for this, it is supportive care," Sullivan said. "What we mean by that is supporting those who have it."
The Brazos County Health Department is reminding people to remember the principles of preventing transmission of all viruses.
"This is staying home when we're sick, this is good hand hygiene and it is understanding the way these viruses are transmitted," Sullivan said.
COVID-19 mainly transmits from people that are close with one another (within an estimated 6-feet), and respiratory droplets when someone coughs or sneezes.
"It can be on the environment around us, it gets on our hands, it can get into our eyes, or other mucous membranes and be transmitted that way," said Sullivan.
The CDC emphasizes the immediate health risk to the general public is low. Health officials say there is no need for panic, but it's important to stay up to date.
"I encourage folks to read about this and stay alert to what is happening and arm themselves with good information about what is going on," Sullivan said.
The CDC is also advising employers and schools to consider a plan about the widespread disruptions.