CDC monitoring coronavirus outbreak in China


(WWLP) – The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring the outbreak of pneumonia caused by a new coronavirus in Wuhan, China.

The CDC has issued a Travel Watch, which is the lowest level of travel notices and advises travelers to practice usual precautions. The new coronavirus has resulted in more than 200 confirmed human infections in China and exported cases in Thailand, Japan, and South Korea.

Most patients affected by the outbreak have reportedly had links to large seafood and live animal market. The market has since been closed for cleaning and disinfection, but the CDC recommends that travelers to Wuhan, China, should avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and contact with sick people.

Those traveling to the United States from Wuhan may undergo health screening at three airports: New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Anyone with symptoms will undergo an additional health assessment.

There is one confirmed case in the United States in a Washington man who recently returned from China. But travelers we spoke to at the airport said they aren’t too worried because they take precautions whenever flying due to the risk of getting sick. Flying can often mean being up close and personal with the stranger next to you.

“I think cramming too many people in a tin can, can be a problem,” said Mike Reveruzzi, a Brewster resident.

Leaving some to risk getting sick if another passenger has an illness. One former teacher says he doesn’t worry too much about getting sick on planes.

“I think I’ve built up more than the normal immunity resistance to some diseases but yeah I think that is a concern,” Reveruzzi added.

But in China, a new virus called the coronavirus is spreading around causing some concern. The droplet-born illness has killed several people and infected more than 200 others. According to a study by Emory University and Georgia Tech, a sick person sitting in the aisle seat has roughly an 80 percent chance of getting everyone in their row and some passengers in the front and row behind them sick.

Medical professionals say there are some precautions you can take while traveling to attempt to avoid getting sick.

“They should be washing their hands frequently,” said Rina Patel. “Avoid contact with people that are ill. You know if someone is coughing in their face you want to make sure they’re coughing in the crook of their arm. And then make sure any surfaces they’re in contact with are wiped down with a good disinfectant.”

The coronavirus is spread from droplets. Meaning it’s not airborne but instead can spread from person to person via cough mucus droplets.

Despite the one confirmed case, the virus is not prevalent in the U.S. but medical professionals say the cousin strain of the virus, SARS, is something people should still be cautious of while traveling.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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