CDC Raises Travel Alert To Highest Level

“In today’s connected world, an outbreak anywhere can be a risk everywhere. Risk is dependent on exposure.”

Jan 27, 2020

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention upped its travel warning Monday to a level 3, its highest alert level. American citizens are urged to avoid all nonessential travel to China because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The CDC warning says those who travel should avoid all contact with sick people, animal markets and products that come from animals. At the same time, the U.S. State Department has issued a level 4 travel warning for the Hubei province, which is where the virus originated.

That warning advises no travel to Wuhan or the province.

New data released Monday by the Atlanta-based CDC shows 110 patients now under investigation for possible coronarvirus infection in 26 states. While five people in four states have been confirmed as Wuhan coronavirus cases, CDC’s director is seeking to calm Americans who might be nervous about the disease.

“We understand people may worry about the new coronavirus,” said Dr. Robert Redfield on Monday. “In today’s connected world, an outbreak anywhere can be a risk everywhere. Risk is dependent on exposure.”

Redfield said the coronavirus isn’t spreading in the U.S. at the moment, and CDC believes the risk to the American public is low.But “it would not be surprising if person-to-person spread in the United States were to occur,” the Atlanta-based organization said Sunday. “Cases in healthcare settings, like hospitals, may also occur.”

Cases have been reported in Arizona, California, Illinois and Washington state. All of the travelers, according to the CDC, were returning travelers from Wuhan, China, where the virus originated.

The Georgia Department of Public Health, in consultation with the CDC, is evaluating patient information received from healthcare providers.

The state department has not confirmed any cases of coronavirus in Georgia, but also would not say whether any of the 110 cases being tested involve Georgia residents.

The state agency said they would not release information on any cases being tested, only on those confirmed … Read more. 

CDC expands health screenings for coronavirus to 20 airports

The agency will check all travelers from China for signs of illness

Jan 28, 2020

The Verge – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding its enhanced health screening to 20 airports as part of its efforts to identify people with the new coronavirus who are traveling into the United States, the agency said in a press conference today.

For the past week, the agency has been actively checking travelers from Wuhan for symptoms at five airports: San Francisco International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

There are no longer any direct flights leaving Wuhan, but the CDC will still be monitoring any people who passed through Wuhan during travel and are still in the process of returning to the US.

The 20 airports that are now part of screening efforts are the US’s existing quarantine stations — ports of entry into the country that are always staffed with public health officials who watch for any sick international travelers.

“We’re building on our regular day to day activities,” said Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, during the press conference.

CDC officials will take the temperature of anyone traveling from China … Read more.