3 US airports to screen passengers for Chinese coronavirus amid outbreak

Officials announced Jan. 17 that travelers from Wuhan, China, will be screened at three U.S. airports amid a mysterious viral infection outbreak that has already spread to two other countries, STAT reports. 

Passengers arriving at San Francisco International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport will be checked for symptoms of the infection, such as cough, sore throat and fever. A second screening will be performed for people who show symptoms of infection. 

Overall risk in the U.S. is low, but "it's crucial to be proactive and prepared," Nancy Messonnier, MD, director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said, according to STAT. The agency is sending 100 staff members to the airports to assist with the screening. 

Last month, dozens of people in central China contracted pneumonia from an unknown virus that officials have now identified as a new strain of coronavirus. Forty-five cases of the virus have been confirmed, including two deaths. 

As of Jan. 16, three cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed outside of China. All three patients report traveling to Wuhan, with two cases occurring in Thailand and one detected in Japan.  

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