U.S. Health and Homeland Security officials will start screening for the new Chinese Coronavirus at major U.S. airports that have caused two deaths and more than 40 infections in China.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Homeland Security plans to screen travellers from Wuhan, China to three U.S. airports starting Saturday on direct and indirect flights: John F. Kennedy International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport.
Martin Cetron, director of the CDC’s Global Migration and Quarantine Division, said in a media briefing on Friday that he expects the screening to include as many as 5,000 people from Wuhan to the U.S. in the airports below.
“Investigations into this novel coronavirus are ongoing, and we are tracking this emerging situation and responding,” he said in a statement.
The CDC will track the coronavirus outbreak, which originally began in Hubei Province, China. Two deaths reported and one confirmed in Thailand and another in Japan.
Most coronavirus symptoms are similar to an upper respiratory infection like runny nose, coughing, sore throat, or fever. It’s part of a large family of viruses that can cause disease in humans and animals like camels, cats, and bats. Nevertheless, according to the CDC, it is unusual for an animal coronavirus to evolve and infect humans.
The CDC has said that the risk of spreading the virus to the American public is considered low. “Nonetheless, CDC takes care on constructive preparedness,” it said in a statement.
The patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly said that the large seafood and animal market may have contributed to the spread of animal to human. Several vets, however, have said they had no access to the animal market.
Concerns have grown in China since the announcement by the Chinese health authorities of the discovery of the mysterious new virus which sickens dozens of people in Wuhan. Other viruses have occurred in China in the past, such as the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic, or SARS, a virus that killed more than 800 people worldwide in 2002 and 2003.