Experts saw early cruise ship outbreak as grim indicator of contagion

As hundreds were infected aboard the ship, experts saw U.S. falling “behind the curve.”
3:50 | 07/28/20

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Transcript for Experts saw early cruise ship outbreak as grim indicator of contagion
This morning the number of confirmed novel corona virus cases onboard this quarantined cruise ship nearly doubling. You know the diamond princess was really. It was it was it was sort of you know self contained lab experiment it was also really was a Petri dish. Because he had virus spreading in essentially confined space and I've never been on the crews spent you know I've been on. On some other big boats and you know there's only so many places you can go. And the fact that there were patients. Whom were asymptomatic. The testing positive I think what is from my perspective. No really one of the greatest concerns reading from the red dawn email chain doctor Italy. February 10 noted. You know and with the vice of the diamond princess you know she said as I said from the start. This offers the biggest opportunity to study in multiple levels and I'm afraid it's become a quarantine nightmare the missing opportunities and missteps. On the same day February 10. Doctor Carter met chair noted the case kind of board that cruise ship is now up to 136. This is unbelievable. We are so far behind her. You see the red Don email chain that the scientists and experts were very focused on the diamond princess cruise ship. And they were locked in on the notes and that this virus seem to be racing through. That crew and the passengers it appeared to be highly infectious and they were noticing it and we're very concerned about. By mid February the World Health Organization concluded that the biggest cluster outside of China outside of Wuhan was on that cruise ship. Right now as of today there more than 200 people with the virus. On board this cruise ship. I think the diamond prince's shows that it. It spreads quickly if it spreads a systematically. You know expensive people of all ages and and it's it it's a virus that we really. Ought to be worried about it have to contend. So one point doctor James Lawler who's on that read our on email chain noted epidemiologist. Gets to actually go on board ship. He spent hours on this ship and what he sees. Clearly concerns him. And he comes back in apparently the word gets to the administration is that. What you're seeing on that ship maybe what is just a taste of what's to come inside the United States that what is happening on that ship. Could be exponentially worse if it ever got to be six. It it was a bit surreal to be. Honest I remember walking on board. Up the gangplank and and on to the quarter and you see these little. Teams of the folks in these blue outfits that looked almost like serfs running around the ship and they were wearing these white. Coveralls. With a strikes on them and they looked a lot like them balloon does from. From Willy Wonka and C have these bizarre groups running around in in what was. Mostly it deserted cruise ship. That it really. That it really created the surreal environment. For those two days for we were walking around inside. I myself and mark my colleague when we went out to the ship to evaluate. Passengers before we brought them back. And and despite these pretty aggressive infection control measures that passengers were taking. They were continuing to to get sick and and to be identified as cases and sue. That really brought home to us potentially explosive transmission. That could occur. And Carter again on February 20 noted. What has me worried is what happened on the cruise ship is a preview of what will happen when this virus makes its way to the US health care system.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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