Feb 26, 2020 14:49 UTC
  • US soldier tests positive for coronavirus as officials warn of spread

US health officials are warning about the approach of the coronavirus into the country, a phenomenon appearing inevitable.

"Ultimately we expect we will see community spread in this country. It's not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness," said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the Director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases of the US, on Wednesday.

This is while a US soldier tested positive for the coronavirus called covid-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has so far avoided categorizing the latest outbreak as a pandemic.

"The data over the past week about the spread in other countries has raised our level of concern and expectation that we are going to have community spread here," Messonnier said.

She said Tuesday that the situation has met two of the criteria for a pandemic: "the fact that this virus has caused illness -- including illness that has resulted in death -- and sustained person-to-person spread."

China's central Hubei province was the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, currently affecting other countries such as South Korea and Iran.