US warns of potential virus spread as travel restricted aboard

This is a breaking news story that will be updated.

Officials scrambled Tuesday to halt the spread of the burgeoning new virus, from northern Italy where troops were dispatched to enforce quarantines and schools were shuttered, to South Korea, where some neighborhoods in a city of 2.5 million were brought to a near standstill.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that Americans should brace for the likelihood that the coronavirus will spread to communities in the United States.

Americans should prepare for “significant disruptions” to their lives from coronavirus, CDC says. According to the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, it’s no longer a question of if but rather when “community spread” will occur in the United States.

New clusters of the illness popped up far from its apparent point of origin in China, fueling apprehension in world financial markets and political institutions. The spread fueled an increased sense of urgency among officials in some of the wealthiest nations in Europe and Asia, as well as in countries like Iran, with far fewer resources to stem the disease. But many remained uncertain about how best to contain it.

“It’s a matter of speed and time: We must create a clear turning point within this week,” said President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, where the caseload grew by 144, with a total of 977 people sickened.

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