The Department of State is bringing more people back from Wuhan. The first plane arrived last week. More are planned. Over the weekend CDC sent four additional teams to specific Department of Defense locations where those planes will arrive. These passengers, like the ones in March Air Reserve Base, will be under Federal quarantine that will last 14 days from when the planes left Wuhan, China. Medical staff will monitor the health of these people, including temperature checks and observation for respiratory symptoms. Medical care will be readily available at the first onset of symptoms. We do not believe these people pose a risk to the communities where they are being temporarily housed as we are taking measures to minimize any exposure.
As I look around me at the staff working on this outbreak here at CDC, I see a lot of people who worked on the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Rather than coming from abroad, that virus was on our doorstep when we recognized it. We didn’t have much chance to prepare. Today we are again seeing the emergence of the new virus that poses a very serious public health threat. This time we do have time to prepare, and we are preparing as if this were the next pandemic. The goal of our public health response is to detect and contain introduction of this virus with the goal of preventing sustained spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus in this country. Strong measures now may blunt the impact of this virus on the United States. Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of CDC National Center for Respiratory Diseases, during a CDC situation update on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak on 3 February 2020.