The World Health Organization (WHO) seems to be maintaining its stance that there are no local outbreaks of the coronavirus outside of China. Meanwhile, confirmed cases are skyrocketing. Cases in South Korea jumped from 30 to 602 in a matter of 4 days, leaving residents scrambling for supplies.

Italy has also seen a sudden surge in cases, housing the largest spread so far in Western Europe. The country has now confirmed 155 cases, with 3 deaths so far. The government has declared a state of emergency and residents are clearing store shelves as they fear a major lock down and potential quarantines.

So what about the US? The CDC has apparently warned hospitals to prepare for a surge in patients while at the same time taking a seemingly relaxed stance on testing. The current CDC flow chart for identification of the virus only allows for testing of patients who present with symptoms if they have traveled to China or have had close known contact with someone else who was formally diagnosed.

Considering those exposed can carry the virus for up to 2 weeks with no symptoms, this means the virus has the potential to spread rapidly without people knowing if they’ve come in contact with someone else who is not yet sick but who has been exposed. Consequently, the CDC won’t necessarily be able to identify “community outbreaks” because, as it stands right now, patients won’t be tested.

We’ll be keeping an extra close eye on news reports and developments as the coronavirus spans the globe. In the meantime, it may be prudent to start making contingency plans or to start stocking up on pantry essentials, just in case the SHTF.

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