Like a scene from a classic sci-fi thriller like “The Andromeda Strain,” a fatal Chinese coronavirus that has broken out in the city and province of Wuhan may be present in America.
Inadvertently causing this possible threat are 21 Chinese exchange students from the same province in China.
They were scheduled on Wednesday to attend classes in Falls Church, VA. Multiple media outlets confirm this information.
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Fairfax County Public Schools, the students are at Longfellow Middle School, last night decided to bar the students from attending class until February 3rd.
The just-arrived students will instead stay at hotels and visit tourist and cultural sites, which is odd because if they have the virus won’t the chance of contagion be greater at public venues?
At this point, there have not been signs of the virus amongst students or staff. The incubation period is three to 14 days.
The Chinese regime has restricted travel in several cities and suspended public transportation in the Wuhan epicenter of the virus. The government is trying to stop the spread of the pestilence that has killed 17 and sickened 500 and counting.
18 million people are thought to be potentially affected by the spread of the disease, 11 million in Wuhan immediately so.
In a nation like China, where hundreds of millions reside in the close quarters of its teeming cities, that number could grow exponentially to a level that would classify it as a pandemic readily able to surmount national boundaries in a single bound.
Gauden Galea, of the World Health Organization, told The Associated Press, concerning the quarantine of Wuhan, “To my knowledge, trying to contain a city of 11 million people is new to science. It has not been tried before as a public health measure. We cannot at this stage say it will or it won’t work.”
If the peril were to spread outside of Wuhan, perhaps even outside of China and Asia, and successfully jump to the U.S., the public health threat could be grim.
If the virus goes airborne, spread by American travelers from China already back from that country, then a simple visit to a movie theater or a grocery store could act as the accelerant to a health brushfire that could turn into a conflagration making the plot of the film “Outbreak” seem gentle by comparison.
U.S. public health officials are closely monitoring the situation.