Coronavirus symptoms and the N95-mask were some of the top searches on Google on Wednesday.
This came less than 24 hours after the Centers for Disease Control issued a stern warning to Americans that there could be an outbreak here in the U.S.
The CDC director said the most recent data raises the level of concern, and that is not a question of if, but when the virus will be widespread in the U.S.
At a 3M factory in South Dakota, where it makes masks and respirators that help protect from the disease, it is working around the clock and still can't produce them fast enough.
The latest guidance from the CDC on Feb. 12 stated N95-masks are in limited supply.
The CDC added the masks should only be used for people in healthcare settings. They were not recommended for the general public, again as of Feb. 12. On Amazon, a quick search shows masks can be purchased from $17 to $75.
The CDC said communities need to be prepared for school closures, hospital closures and for businesses to allow people to work from home. As of Wednesday, there were 57 total COVID cases in the U.S.
Dr. John Butler, of Memorial Herman Hospital in Houston, said they have put procedures in place to identify infected patients who come into the ER. Community spread is the biggest concern.
There's still no vaccine, although some are in development at the University of Texas-Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, and other hospitals. The CDC said you can do the same things you would do to avoid the flu.
- Stay home when you are sick, cover your face when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands often. Use soap and water.
- Think about carpooling the kids to school in smaller groups