Caitlin Rivers, PhD+ Your Authors @cmyeaton Outbreak science + epidemiology + health security. Assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (@JHSPH_CHS). ELBI alum. Feb. 29, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

I'm seeing unconfirmed reports of a few community acquired cases in the US. Again, this is a function of testing - it is not a live feed of transmission. I think it’s likely we have had community spread in the US for a while. 1/

That means we have been already dealing with it – it’s just that we are now starting to recognize it. Here are a few things to expect. 2/

Early in an outbreak, we often find only the most severe cases. It seems like people are quite sick, which is scary. It’s something of an illusion. Ppl who aren’t very sick don’t go to the doctor, so don’t get counted. Early cases are not a good indicator of overall severity. 3/

In fact, there is a ‘fog of war’ to a lot of elements of early outbreaks. Don’t let early reports set the tone - things will settle out. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to prepare.  recommends a few useful steps to take. 4/

We tend to focus on the Federal response during an outbreak, and they do play a key role. But many decisions that directly affect our lives actually comes from state and local officials. It’s them you might be hearing from. 5/

Finally, you will see political reactions, misinformation, disinformation. Try to focus on the guidance from WHO, CDC, and your state and local health departments. It is *their* job to look out for your health. 6/6

You can follow @cmyeaton.


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