CDC Says Prep for Pandemic; Coronavirus Outbreak Exposes China’s Medical Supply Monopoly; North Korea ‘Executes Official for Visiting Public Bath While Quarantined’; ‘It’s Spreading Through the Eyes’

Coronavirus Outbreak Leads CDC to Warn Hospitals to Prep Pandemic Plans

By Terry Sater. Coronavirus has now surpassed the number of people infected with Ebola, SARS and MERS combined.

As those numbers continue to climb, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now urging local hospitals to get out their pandemic plans and start preparing.

Doctors across the United States are using a novel coronavirus tracker created by Johns Hopkins University to prepare for a possible pandemic or outbreak. (Read more about the coronavirus outbreak HERE)

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CDC: Get Used to Coronavirus, it’s Not Going Away for Years

By Jacqueline Howard. “Right now we’re in an aggressive containment mode,” CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield told CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in an interview on Thursday.

“We don’t know a lot about this virus,” he said. “This virus is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year, and I think eventually the virus will find a foothold and we will get community-based transmission” . . .

“The containment phase is really to give us more time. This virus will become a community virus at some point in time, this year or next year,” Redfield said. “We don’t have any evidence that this coronavirus is really embedded in the community at this time, but with that said, we want to intensify our surveillance so that we’re basing those conclusions based on data.” (Read more about the coronavirus outbreak HERE)

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Coronavirus Outbreak Reveals China’s Monopoly on Medical Supplies That United States is Dependent On

By Breitbart. The coronavirus outbreak has exposed the United States’ dangerous dependence on China for pharmaceutical and medical supplies, including an estimated 97 percent of all antibiotics and 80 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients needed to produce drugs in the United States.

The economic repercussions of the coronavirus reveal the dangers of allowing one country to have a near monopoly on global manufacturing, David Dayen explains in an article at the American Prospect:

China is a source of not only finished goods, but also of input parts and raw materials. A substantial number of the materials needed for defense and electronic systems come from China, and that nation is “the single or sole supplier for a number of specialty chemicals,” according to a recent Defense Department report. Rare earth minerals, which are critical to electronics, are largely mined in China. As a result, Chinese disruptions don’t just hit Chinese manufacturing, they hit everyone’s. Automakers have already had to slow or shut down factories globally due to supply shortages.

Perhaps the biggest concern is over medical supplies. China produces and exports a large amount of pharmaceuticals to the U.S., including 97 percent of all antibiotics and 80 percent of the active ingredients used to make drugs here. Penicillin, ibuprofen, and aspirin largely come from China. Last month, the medical supply firm Cardinal Health recalled 2.9 million surgical gowns “cross contaminated” at a plant in China; the blood pressure drug valsartan also saw shortages recently, thanks to tainted active ingredients at one Chinese plant. The combination of supply chain disruptions and increased demand at hospitals if coronavirus spreads to the U.S. could prove devastating.

In a dark irony, most of the world’s face masks—now ubiquitous in China as a precaution—are made in China and Taiwan, and even for those made elsewhere, some component parts are Chinese-sourced. Shortages have led China to declare the masks a “strategic resource,” reserving them for medical workers. U.S. hospitals are “critically low” on respiratory masks, according to medical-supply middlemen. Lack of protective gear could increase vulnerability to the virus, and the one place on earth suffering from production shutdowns is the one place where most of the protective gear originates [emphasis added].

(Read more from “Coronavirus Outbreak Exposes China’s Monopoly on U.S. Drug, Medical Supplies” HERE)

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North Korea ‘Executes Trade Official for Visiting a Public Bath While He Was in Quarantine Over Coronavirus Fears After Returning From China’

By Daily Mail. A North Korean official has been executed for going to a public bath while he was meant to be in quarantine, a report in the South has claimed.

The trade official was arrested and immediately shot after risking the spread of coronavirus by visiting the public bath, the Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported.

The official had been placed in isolation after travelling to China, with Kim Jong-un imposing military law to enforce the lockdown, sources said.

North Korea has not yet confirmed any cases of the virus, but has taken drastic measures to stop it spreading over its border with China.

The trade official was reportedly quarantined under a policy of isolating anyone who had been to China or had contact with Chinese people. (Read more from “North Korea ‘Executes Trade Official for Visiting a Public Bath While He Was in Quarantine Over Coronavirus Fears After Returning From China'” HERE)
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Chinese Doc Says it Spreads Through the Eyes

By Vanessa Chalmers and Stephen Matthews. The killer coronavirus rapidly sweeping the world could be caught through the eyes, scientists have today warned.

Chinese doctor Wang Guangfa fears he may have contracted the SARS-like infection because he wasn’t wearing protective goggles.

Leading experts confirmed it is ‘absolutely possible’, saying the virus can enter the eyes by touching them – if it is on a patient’s hands.

And they even warned the virus – thought to be spread through sneezes and coughs – can roam through the body to reach the eye. (Read more about the coronavirus outbreak HERE)

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