Published: Wed, January 22, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Humans Can Spread New Coronavirus That Killed 6 People

Humans Can Spread New Coronavirus That Killed 6 People

The U.S. on Tuesday reported its first case of a new and potentially deadly virus circulating in China, saying a Washington state resident who returned last week from the outbreak's epicenter was hospitalized in good condition near Seattle.

On the call, CDC officials said they have screened more than 1,200 passengers since those efforts began on January 17.

He is feeling well but remains in isolation at Providence Regional Medical Center, "out of an abundance of caution", said Chris Spitters, health officer with the Snohomish Health District, north of Seattle. Even so, US health officials say the risk to Americans is low.

For their part, officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they will begin taking passengers' temperatures and asking travellers about symptoms at New York City's Kennedy airport, as well as the Los Angeles and San Francisco airports.

On Tuesday, Messonnier said the CDC still believes "the risk [to Americans] remains low at this time".

So far, almost 300 cases of the virus have been confirmed in China, said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. The infections it causes appear to range from mild to severe, with symptoms including fever and respiratory problems.

He entered the U.S. on January 15 - two days before health screenings for those traveling from Wuhan began at airports in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco - and approached health authorities himself after reading news reports about the virus.

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The CDC has activated its emergency operations center to manage the situation.

The virus was first reported to the World Health Organisation on 31 December 2019, and identified as a new strain of the virus on 7 January.

The World Health Organization said the person who contracted the virus in Thailand was a traveler from Wuhan.

Zeng, who is leading the Chinese government's efforts to respond to the outbreak, made clear that his recommendation was not a government-imposed quarantine. In more severe cases, infection with coronavirus can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. The agency says that it will also roll out screenings at airports in Chicago and Atlanta later this week.

A new coronavirus outbreak coming from Wuhan, the city in China, that has already killed six people and infected close to 300 others, can spread between humans.

Fears of the virus spreading further have heightened in the run-up to Lunar New Year this weekend, as many people travel domestically and internationally.

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