Thursday, 27 February, 2020

CDC begins ‘enhanced’ health screenings at 3 airports due to China virus

Queens Passengers from China screened for virus at JFK Airport Magee Hickey 10:21 PM, Jan CDC begins ‘enhanced’ health screenings at 3 airports due to China virus
Travis Berry | 20 January, 2020, 00:23

Travelers are also cautioned to avoid high-risk areas such as farms, live animal markets, and areas where animals may be slaughtered; avoid contact with animals, alive or dead, including pigs, chickens, ducks and wild birds; to avoid surfaces with animal droppings or secretions on them and to avoid contact with sick people, especially if they have fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Two people have tested positive in Beijing, according to reports on Weibo, citing the Beijing Daxing Health Commission, and one person has tested positive in Shenzhen, according to the Guangdong Province Health Commission. It is the Spring Festival travel season in China when families traditionally return home for Lunar New Year. The virus, which has now affected a total of 62 people in Wuhan, has also spread overseas, with two cases reported in Thailand and one in Japan.

The virus belongs in the same family of coronaviruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed almost 800 people globally during a 2002/03 outbreak that also started in China.

The United States said on Friday that it would begin screening efforts at three U.S. airports to track travellers from Wuhan who may have symptoms of the fever.

But the health commission in Wuhan also acknowledged on Sunday that some people who had come down with the virus had no exposure to the market.

If the reported infections are confirmed, they would be the first cases of the disease in the mainland outside Wuhan.

The virus that first emerged from the central Chinese city of Wuhan has killed three so far, all from Wuhan.

Among those 17 cases, three were described as "severe", two patients are too critical to be moved, authorities said, AFP reported.

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The authorities in Hong Kong, the United States, Thailand and Singapore have been screening visitors from Wuhan. The absolute worst-case scenario would be that this new virus has found a way to make the jump from person-to-person, though health officials are not yet able to determine if that's the case.

The odd and slightly troubling saga of the mysterious virus that sprung up in China a few weeks ago just entered a frightening new phase.

The novel virus is a new strain that has not previously been identified in humans.

Some cause less-severe disease, some more severe. It estimated that there were 1,723 cases as of January 12 in Wuhan City.

News about the outbreak was trending on Weibo, a microblogging platform in China, on Sunday morning.

A World Health Organization doctor said it would not be surprising if there was "some limited human-to-human transmission, especially among families who have close contact with one another".

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