Public health labs in five cities will begin using existing flu surveillance to look for the spread of the novel coronavirus, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during a call with reporters today.
The cities are:
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- New York City
Messonnier said this efficiently leverages the existing influenza surveillance systems to track whether the novel coronavirus is spreading in communities within the United States.
The labs will test for the coronavirus in samples that are negative for influenza.
Results from this will provide an early warning to trigger a change in the public health response, Messonnier said.
There have been 15 cases of the novel coronavirus confirmed in seven states: eight in California; two in Illinois; and one each in Arizona, Washington, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Texas.