The United States' top health officials are warning that Americans should prepare for serious disruptions to their lives from the coronavirus here at home. The announcement was made during a media briefing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday.

CDC officials say that Americans should prepare for disruptions to their daily lives, including school closings, office disruptions (working from home), delayed elective medical procedures, and more. The statements were made during a media briefing on Tuesday (February 25).

The effect in the United States has been relatively limited as officials have limited travel to and from and China, but recent outbreaks in other countries (such as Italy) have officials concerned.

“It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the head of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said on Tuesday.

There are now 80,238 cases of the virus in 34 countries and at least 2,700 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The World Health Organization, however, stopped short of calling the outbreak a pandemic earlier this week.

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