Mission: To raise awareness of and provide the general public with information about novel coronavirus disease 2019.
Background: Over the last two months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading public health agency in the United States, has been responding to an outbreak of a previously unknown coronavirus (COVID-19) first detected in the City of Wuhan in China's Hubei Province that has since spread to at least thirty-seven countries, including the United States. According to the CDC, outbreaks of novel virus infections among humans are always a public health concern, and the extent of disease spread depends on the characteristics of the virus, including how easily it is transmitted from person to person, the severity of the resulting illness, and the measures available to control it (e.g., vaccines or treatments). In virus outbreak situations, the CDC, in partnership with other federal agencies, coordinates closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners to respond to the emerging public health threat, including operationalizing all of its preparedness and response plans, working on multiple fronts to detect and minimize outbreaks of the disease, and recommending specific measures designed to facilitate the preparation and response of communities at the local level.
Outstanding Web Features: With the aim of keeping the public informed as the situation unfolds, the CDC has created a mini-site within its main website dedicated to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Visitors to the site land on a summary page with general information about the disease, including what is currently known about its origin; its severity and spread; how it's affecting the U.S.; a fairly detailed risk assessment by demographic group; steps the CDC is taking to respond to the outbreak; and recommendations for healthcare professionals and other groups most at risk. The site also provides a snapshot of cases in the U.S., a map of locations globally where cases of the diseases have been confirmed, and more information on how the CDC is working to prepare communities here in the U.S. Visitors to the site can also find quick links to information about COVID-19 symptomatology, testing, and how to protect oneself, as well as the latest travel updates. Last but not least, the site provides information about how to stay informed, the latest virus-related news, a comprehensive FAQ, and other communication resources.