CDC Expands Coronavirus Screening at US Airports

As concerns over a coronavirus outbreak in China grows, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced the expanded screening of travelers arriving from Wuhan, China, to two more airports in the United States.

According to the CDC’s website, officials are increasing efforts at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, in addition to the three facilities already stepping up screenings; Los Angeles International, San Francisco International and New York JFK.

As part of the effort to control the spread of the coronavirus, all travelers flying to the U.S. from Wuhan will be rerouted through one of the five approved airports and be subjected to a series of questions and a health exam.

The expanded screenings come after the first travel-related case of the coronavirus in the U.S. was announced Tuesday when a traveler from China landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on January 15 and was confirmed to have the illness by January 19.

As a result, the CDC has raised its travel notice for the region from Level 1 to Level 2, asking people heading overseas to practice enhanced precautions and warning older adults about the increased risk for severe disease.

The decision to reroute travelers and provide medical screenings is a rare step taken by the CDC, with the last time the decision was necessary was in 2014 during the Ebola scare.

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