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Media Statement on Novel Coronavirus Public Health Emergency Declaration from APHL Executive Director Scott Becker

Illustration of coronavirus molecule


Contact: Michelle Forman at 240.485.2793,
David Fouse, 202.262.5417, 

Silver Spring, MD, January, 31, 2020 — “Today the White House declared the novel coronavirus (2019 nCoV) outbreak a public health emergency. Public health laboratories are a critical component of our public health system and are busy supporting the U.S. response.

“Today’s announcement is an important step and makes available critical resources to enhance our public health response. It allows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to provide an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention so that test kits can be produced and rapidly distributed to public health laboratories.

“Public health laboratories across the country are increasing their readiness by reviewing pandemic preparedness plans, ensuring that necessary equipment and supplies are on hand; scheduling staff to ensure that there is adequate coverage for not only 2019-nCoV but also influenza; coordinating with epidemiologists and clinical labs on rule out testing, specimen referral and results reporting; and in other important ways.

“APHL has stood up our Incident Command System to support our member labs in this response and stands ready to assist our federal, state and local partners in this emergency.”

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The Association of Public Health Laboratories works to strengthen laboratory systems serving the public’s health in the U.S.​​ and globally. Learn more information at


  • Coronavirus (Covid19) 03/01/2020
    Due to the recent outbreak of the novel Coronavirus in China and rapid spread around the world I would like to submit the following supposition for CDC consideration. It seems to baffle the virology experts on how the initial infection of the virus in China infected so many so quickly and the speed at which it has infected other countries as well. Infections are often observed with no apparent contact with individuals shedding the virus. Consider the following:
    Both Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can have incubation periods in excess of 180 days until the first appearance of prodromal symptoms. Whether or not an infected person is contagious (i.e. is shedding virus) during the incubation period depends on the virus. For example, Ebola virus infected patients do not pass the virus on to others during the incubation period. Also (like Ebola) once the virus incubates, the onset of the disease is relatively quick but could be asymptomatic, shedding the virus through droplets (coughing and sneezing), perspiration or infected feces prior to symptoms.
    It’s my understanding that COVID-19 is a RNA virus (ribonucleic acid). That would put Covid19 in the same virus family as those that cause Ebola, SARS, Rabies, Common Colds, Influenza, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis E, West Nile Fever, Polio and Measles.
    Consider this theorem as a consideration to the aforementioned: A Chinese pig carrying a corona virus infection i.e. Pig Flu (typical in China) sheds the virus to a human host who is infected with Hepatitis C (also typical in China) and through this mutates into a virus which is asymptomatic during an incubation period of 180 days. The virus would have the potential of spreading and shedding for over 6 months unnoticed and undetected then suddenly becoming prodromal creating an overnight viral epidemic with thousands infected. Something to consider?
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    • This is a really interesting read. And, most definitely, something to consider. There is SO much more to learn about COVID-19. Thank you for your comment.

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