CDC urges senior citizens to stay home and avoid face-to-face contact as ...

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are advising senior citizens at risk of contracting coronavirus to stay home and avoid in-person interaction.

In a call to reporters on Tuesday, Dr Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said the elderly are most at risk because of their ages and pre-existing conditions.

'People with underlying health conditions are twice as likely to develop serious outcomes as healthy people,' Dr Messonnier said.

'We're particularly concerned about those people with the growing number of cases in US states. Stay home when you're sick - don’t let the illness spread beyond you.' 

It comes as health officials announced that the number of coronavirus deaths rose from six on Monday to nine on Tuesday - all of them in Washington. 

At least five deaths have been linked to Life Care Center, nursing long-term care facility in Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle.

Top CDC official Dr Nancy Messonnier (pictured) urged senior citizens to stay home and avoid in-person interaction to prevent being infected with coronavirus

Top CDC official Dr Nancy Messonnier (pictured) urged senior citizens to stay home and avoid in-person interaction to prevent being infected with coronavirus

She said she is worried about older people with pre-existing conditions because they are twice as likely to develop serious outcomes. So far, 121 Americans have been infected and nine have died

She said she is worried about older people with pre-existing conditions because they are twice as likely to develop serious outcomes. So far, 121 Americans have been infected and nine have died

Dr Messonnier advised that senior citizens practice 'social distance' and limit their in-person interactions to prevent them from being infected with the virus.

'The goal of social distancing is to limit exposure by reducing face-to-face contact and preventing spread among people in community settings,' she said.

She also suggested that they stock up on prescriptions, which includes drugs such as heart medications and diabetes medication.

'Seniors make sure you have adequate supplies of routine medication,' Dr Messonnier said during the media call.  

As the number of cases rose to more than 110 on Tuesday, Dr Messonnier said that the US may be finally experiencing 'community spread', which has been occurring overseas. 

Community spread occurs when the source of infection is unknown. 

The number of Americans infected has skyrocketed by more than 50 percent since Friday.

'What is happening now in the United States may be the beginning of what is happening abroad,' she said.  

'We will continue to maintain, for as long as practical, an aggressive national posture of containment. That said, you might see some local communities taking specific actions to mitigate the disease.'  

Dr Messonnier urged senior citizens to stock up on routine medication, which includes drugs such as heart medications and diabetes medication. Pictured: An elderly couple, with the woman wearing a mask, walk on a street in Alhambra, California on February 4

Dr Messonnier urged senior citizens to stock up on routine medication, which

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