Published on Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Coronavirus screening expanded to 20 US airports

The US will significantly expand airport screening of travelers from China.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officers will screen at another 15 airports.

Thermal health screenings are already ongoing at five airports - New York JFK, San Francisco International Airport, Los Angeles, Chicago's O'Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

"We are constantly preparing for the possibility that the situation could worsen," health secretary Alex Azar said.

"Americans should not worry about their own safety. Part of the risk we face is we don't know everything we need to know about this virus ... That does not prevent us from preparing and responding."

The expanded screening will see CDC officers at airports including Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Seattle, Minneapolis-St Paul, Anchorage Newark and Boston.

It also includes offshore airports Honolulu and Puerto Rico's San Juan Airport.

Together, these 20 airports receive about 90% of all passenger traffic from China.

The CDC has advised Americans to avoid all non-essential travel to China.

The agency said there are now 110 people under observation for possible coronavirus infection across 26 states, although there is no evidence yet of any human-to-human transmission within the US.

So far there are five confirmed cases.


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