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Travelers at 3 US Airports to Be Screened for New Virus

CDC worried about visitors from China at JFK, LAX, and San Francisco
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2020 2:50 PM CST
A health surveillance officer monitors passengers arriving at Hong Kong International airport in Hong Kong this month.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

(Newser) – Passengers arriving at three US airports from a city in China will be screened for a new type of coronavirus starting Friday. The CDC is dispatching about 100 people to help staff the quarantine stations at New York's JFK and the Los Angeles and San Francisco international airports, the Hill reports. The screenings will apply to travelers from Wuhan, where the outbreak began. The CDC said its response could change as it learns more from its investigation of the virus. Scientists around the world are studying its genome sequence in the effort to understand it.

Two people, both men in their 60s, have died in the outbreak, per CNN. At least 40 in central China have become ill, and the virus has spread to Japan and Thailand. The virus can cause fever and coughing as well as serious outcomes such as kidney failure. It's in the same family as the respiratory conditions SARS and MERS but apparently less dangerous, experts said. The risk of Americans contracting the virus is low at this stage, the CDC said. Asia also is on alert, with hundreds of millions of Chinese planning to travel during the new year period; the Lunar New Year is Jan. 25. (In Japan, a visitor to Wuhan returned home with the illness.)

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