Public Health Screening to Begin at 3 U.S. Airports for 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Press Release

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will implement enhanced health screenings to detect ill travelers traveling to the United States on direct or connecting flights from Wuhan, China. This activity is in response to an outbreak in China caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (2019 nCoV), with exported cases to Thailand and Japan.

 

Starting January 17, 2020, travelers from Wuhan to the United States will undergo entry screening for symptoms associated with 2019-nCoV at three U.S. airports that receive most of the travelers from Wuhan, China: San Francisco (SFO), New York (JFK), and Los Angeles (LAX) airports.

 

“To further protect the health of the American public during the emergence of this novel coronavirus, CDC is beginning entry screening at three ports of entry. Investigations into this novel coronavirus are ongoing and we are monitoring and responding to this evolving situation,” said Martin Cetron, M.D., Director of CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine.

 

Based on current information, the risk from 2019-nCoV to the American public is currently deemed to be low. Nevertheless, CDC is taking proactive preparedness precautions.

 

Entry screening is part of a layered approach used with other public health measures already in place to detect arriving travelers who are sick (such as detection and reporting of ill travelers by airlines during travel and referral of ill travelers arriving at a US port of entry by CBP) to slow and reduce the spread of any disease into the United States.

 

CDC is deploying about 100 additional staff to the three airports (SFO, JFK, and LAX) to supplement existing staff at CDC quarantine stations located at those airports.

 

CDC is actively monitoring this situation for pertinent information about the source of outbreak, and risk for further spread through person-to-person or animal-to-person transmission. CDC may adjust screening procedures and other response activities as this outbreak investigation continues and more is learned about the newly emerging virus. Entry screening alone is not a guarantee against the possible importation of this new virus but is an important public health tool during periods of uncertainty and part of a multilayered government response strategy. As new information emerges, CDC will reassess entry screening measures and could scale activities up or down accordingly.

 

On Jan. 11, 2020, CDC updated a Level 1 Travel Health Notice (“practice usual precautions”) for travelers to Wuhan City and an updated Health Alert to health care professionals and public health partners with new and updated guidance is forthcoming.

 

China health officials report that most of the patients infected with 2019-nCoV have had exposure to a large market where live animals were present, suggesting this is a novel virus that has jumped the species barrier to infect people. Chinese authorities additionally report that several hundred health care workers caring for outbreak patients are being monitored and no spread of this virus from patients to health care workers has been seen. They report no sustained spread of this virus in the community, however there are indications that some limited person-to-person spread may have occurred. CDC is responding to this outbreak out of an abundance of caution, ready to detect people infected with 2019-CoV.

 

For the latest information on the outbreak, visit CDC’s Novel Coronavirus 2019 website.

 

CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.


The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with officials in Thailand and China following reports of confirmation of the novel coronavirus in a person in Thailand.

The person was a traveler from Wuhan, China, and was identified by Thai officials on 8 January, and hospitalized that day. The person is recovering from the illness according to Thai officials.

The possibility of cases being identified in other countries was not unexpected, and reinforces why WHO calls for on-going active monitoring and preparedness in other countries. WHO has issued guidance on how to detect and treat persons ill with the new virus.

The genetic sequencing shared by China enables more countries to rapidly diagnose patients.

WHO reiterates that it is essential that investigations continue in China to identify the source of this outbreak and any animal reservoirs or intermediate hosts.

Given developments, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will consult with Emergency Committee members and could call for a meeting of the committee on short notice.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Why are these passengers even permitted to land here? More diseases are coming in from Asian countries than from other ones Some diseases none of our medical people have ever seen have been seen in Germany and France where Middle Eastern immigrants have been let in. Do we want such diseases in our coutry?

    • You’re right! Most of the diseases brought into this country are from Asian countries, especially China. They even brought bed bugs to Las Vegas hotels.

      • Yes! I remember that! It started at the former Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino (now The Link) which was a place where a lot of Chinese tourist groups stayed. I was a teenager then and our parents drove into Vegas without a hotel reservation (we were camping in Wyoming) while the consumer electronics show was on and every hotel was full, except the Imperial Palace had one vacancy. Against my mother’s warning, dad made us stay there and we got bitten by those insects! It was no fun.

      • There is no vaccine. My suspicion is a North Korean or Chinese germ warfare experiment got accidentally released to the public. Everyone coming here from Asia should go through a quarantine period. This is deadly serious.

  2. Just in time for the Chinese New Year.

    Some medical experts think this could end up as deadly as the Spanish Flu outbreak.

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