January 22, 2020 – In Breaking News – CNN
What started as a mystery virus last month in Wuhan, China, has now killed at least 17 people and infected hundreds more around the world.
In the US, the first case of Wuhan coronavirus was confirmed Tuesday in Washington state — stoking fears of an outbreak in this country.
So what are officials doing in the US, and how can you minimize your risk?
(As the World Health Organization holds an emergency meeting on the coronavirus, a Washington state man has tested positive on his return from Wuhan, China, where the outbreak started. Courtesy of ABC News and YouTube. Posted on Jan 22, 2020.)
What airports are doing
Passengers from Wuhan to the United States — either on direct or indirect flights — will soon only be allowed to land at one of the five US airports.
Three of those US airports — John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport — are already checking those incoming passengers for symptoms such as fever, cough and trouble breathing.
By the end of this week, two more airports will screen passengers — Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
Officials at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport put up signs at the international arrivals area instructing travelers from Wuhan to watch for symptoms of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started displaying the sign in English and Chinese on January 14, an airport spokesman said.
But these airport screenings might not catch everyone infected.
That’s because the incubation period can last a week — meaning it can take a week after getting infected before showing any symptoms.
(Health officials around the world are racing to gauge the danger posed by a new SARS-like virus that emerged in central China last month and spread rapidly, sickening hundreds and killing at least six. Courtesy of QuickTake by Bloomberg and YouTube. Posted on Jan 21, 2020.)
What scientists are doing
Across the US, scientists are trying to create a vaccine for the new virus. But don’t expect it anytime soon.
The National Institutes of Health is working on one, but it will take at least a few months before clinical trials start and more than a year until a vaccine might actually become available.
Separately, scientists in Texas, New York and China are also trying to create on a vaccine, said Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
But the challenge is daunting.
“The lesson we’ve learned is coronavirus infections are serious and one of the newest and biggest global health threats,” Hotez said.
(CNN’s David Culver reports from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, where the city has set up stricter measures to stop the virus from spreading. Courtesy of CNN and YouTube. Posted Jan 22, 2020.)
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