U.S. to Implement 'Enhanced Health Screenings' at 3 Major Airports Amid Deadly Virus Outbreak in China
An unknown and deadly virus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, has left 3 dead and over 200 people ill since it first appeared last month.
The mysterious disease (2019-nCoV) has prompted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection to implement “enhanced health screenings” for travelers coming from Wuhan at three major U.S. airports: San Francisco International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Los Angeles International Airport.
“To further protect the health of the American public during the emergence of this novel coronavirus, CDC is beginning entry screening at three ports of entry,” Martin Cetron, M.D., Director of CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine said in a statement. “Investigations into this novel coronavirus are ongoing and we are monitoring and responding to this evolving situation.”
On Sunday, the World Health Organization confirmed on Twitter that “the total number of confirmed cases of #nCoV2019 reported to date is 205, including 3 deaths. All reported deaths have been in Wuhan, China.”
According to The New York Times, the virus first appeared in Wuhan last month and that 136 new cases had been detected over the last weekend, in addition to one death.
The outlet also reported that the virus had spread outside of the city with two additional cases detected in Beijing, and one in Shenzhen — while another was caught in South Korea and three were discovered in Thailand and Japan. All of the cases outside of Wuhan involved travelers coming from the infected city.
Authorities have said that “most of the patients infected with 2019-nCoV have had exposure to a large market where live animals were present” in Wuhan, however, on Sunday, the health commission in the city said that some people who have come down with the virus had no exposure to the market, the Times reported.
Similarly, WHO confirmed that the infected patient in South Korea did not visit markets in Wuhan or have contact with animals or other confirmed cases.
As of Saturday, the international health organization said that, “Much remains to be understood about the new #coronavirus, including where it comes from and how it is transmitted,” as officials have yet to pinpoint where the virus came from and how it’s being spread.
WHO also revealed that while some of their analysis revealed limited human-to-human transmission of the virus, they don’t know the full extent of it. The group said it would continue to monitor the issue.
Common symptoms from the disease have been fever, coughing and difficulty breathing, according to the Times.
On Friday, the CDC said that the 2019-nCoV was currently deemed a low risk to the American public.