American citizens should not go to China and those already there should consider getting out, the State Department said in a travel advisory issued Thursday night, hours after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that the warning for China had been increased to the highest level, "Level 4: Do Not Travel," the New York Times reports. "Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice," the State Department advice states. "Commercial carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China."
"Those currently in China should consider departing using commercial means," the advice states. "The Department of State has requested that all non-essential US government personnel defer travel to China in light of the novel coronavirus." On Monday, the department issued a Level 3 warning for all of China and a Level 4 warning for Hubei province, where most cases have been reported. A flight evacuating Americans from Wuhan, Hubei's capital, landed in California Wednesday. Authorities in China say are now around 10,000 cases of the virus and 213 reported deaths. There have been at least 98 cases in 18 other countries, but no known deaths, the BBC report. (The first human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus in the US was confirmed Thursday.)