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Health Officials to Screen Passengers Arriving in US From China for Deadly Virus

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A deadly virus that has sickened dozens of people in China has prompted U.S. officials to take action.

According to a report in Bloomberg, passengers traveling from Whuhan, China, to Los Angeles International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport will be tested for the virus, known as 2019 Novel coronavirus.

U.S. health and immigration officials will begin screening passengers on direct flights from Wuhan for symptoms that include a cough, fever and difficulty breathing, starting Friday night, January 17, 2020. Passengers on connecting flights that land at LAX will begin to be screened on Saturday, January 18.

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This is a rare step taken by the CDC. The last time airport screenings occurred was in 2014 during the Ebola scare.

Around 5,000 passengers are expected to travel from Wuhan to the U.S. during the busy Lunar New Year travel season.

The new disease has sickened dozens of people in China and killed two people. Novel coronavirus has also spread to Southeast Asia. The two cases found outside of China were in Japan and Thailand and both patients had traveled to Wuhan.

The U.S. is not alone in taking these precautions. Several other Asian nations are screening passengers that are arriving from Central China.

The CDC noted that the screening measures were a precaution and noted that the risk to Americans is low.

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