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Coronavirus Now a ‘Tremendous Public Health Threat’: CDC

Federal officials announced Friday that their tally of 2019 novel coronavirus cases in the United States had increased to 34, with more infections expected sooner than later, even as questions lingered about how efforts at containing the deadly illness had fallen short so far.

The jump came after the State Department repatriated 18 infected U.S. citizens from aboard a cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan. Three other people confirmed to have the disease have been repatriated, in addition to 13 other American travelers who fell ill upon returning from abroad, as The New York Times reported. 

“This new virus represents a tremendous public health threat,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said on a call with reporters.

The virus has infected over 75,000 people in more than two dozen countries and killed at least 2,240, mostly in mainland China, where the disease originated. The virus has affected every aspect of life in that country, from travel to business to government to family relations, and spread outward from there. Roughly 760 million people are subject to some type of quarantine measure, more than double the population of the entire United States. 

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