The officials have set up screenings at airports across the country and have also advised travelers to look for signs of the deadly virus.
The world is at high-risk alert due to the detection of the coronavirus. After originating in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the virus has spread to other parts of the world claiming the lives of many. Recently, the first case of the mystery virus has been confirmed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US as well.
According to CNN, a man in his 30s was detected with the deadly virus on 21 January 2020 in Washington state. The unnamed patient, who recently returned from Wuhan is currently under observation. The man is arrived from China at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on 15 January 2020. Since the health screening at the airports began much later, he was left undetected until he sought medical help on 19 January 2020. The officials announced that the man may have come in contact with at least 16 people before being placed in isolation, according to CBS News. They hope to contact get in touch with these people as soon as possible. However, the officials assured that the "risk to the public is low."
Meanwhile, authorities in Texas are suspecting a second case of the virus in the country. According to Science Alert, Texas A&M University student between the age of 20 and 30 is being observed. "The person presented to an area emergency department yesterday mostly out of concern, not out of symptoms," said local health official, Eric Wilke. The officials are awaiting the blood sample results for further information.
📣 NOTICE— Stars For TXT 💫 #MAGIC_HOUR (@StarsForTXT_) January 24, 2020
Hello MOA this post is not TXT related. I hope that everyone is aware of coronavirus, and if you are staying in countries with confirmed cases of coronavirus please take extra caution and stay healthy. There is no vaccines available to protect us from it + pic.twitter.com/i03gVn450U
Taking the rapid spread of the virus into consideration, CDC has deployed health officials at the airports to carry out screening tests with questionnaires and temperature checks among passengers who have taken direct and indirect flights from Wuhan. All air traffic from Wuhan is currently being re-routed through 5 airports.
John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport are the three airports that have started the screenings. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Chicago O'Hare International Airport are expected to start the same practice at the end of this week. However, airport screenings may not help in detecting every patient with the virus due to the incubation period that may take over a week.
Officials have also put out signboards warning all passengers to look for symptoms of the virus such as cough, sore throat and other respiratory troubles.
While the authorities are doing all they can to prevent the spread of this illness, the public can safeguard themselves in a couple of ways.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has asked the public to avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness. The public should do "what you do every cold and flu season," said Dr. John Wiesman, the health secretary in Washington state. According to WHO, common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
Americans traveling to China to visit family are asked to be extra careful. "Their risk is higher because they generally stay longer than tourists, eat local food in people's homes, and may not take the same precautions that tourists do," said CDC. They are advised to visit a local medical expert and take the necessary vaccinations and medication for the trip.
Maps: The Wuhan coronavirus, a mysterious respiratory infection, has sickened about 300 people in Asia and one person in the United States, according to official counts. We’ve tracked where it has spread. https://t.co/22iAw9sV5H— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 22, 2020
The latest reports say that the virus has already claimed the lives of around 26 people in China and has infected many. First reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019, the virus is linked with the family of viruses which include the deadly SARS, according to CNET. It appears to have originated from Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan. Experts hope the testing of animal samples from the market will provide more information.