Coronavirus outbreak: What you need to know

Travelers wear face masks as they wait their flight at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong on Jan. 21

Travelers wear face masks as they wait their flight at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong on Jan. 21

SARS probably infected the most people, but there were only 10,000 confirmed cases, far fewer than a typical flu outbreak. "A clinical specimen was collected and sent to CDC overnight, where laboratory testing yesterday confirmed the diagnosis via CDC's Real-time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) test".

"We and the global health community are really working to understand the situation", Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

He is not known to have visited the wholesale markets in Wuhan believed to be at the center of the outbreak.

This has scientists worrying that the coronavirus could be a new epidemic like the ones over the past few years such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which had an outbreak in 2012 that caused over 400 deaths, and MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus), which killed almost 800 people during a 2003 outbreak. The virus is sweeping Asia, and has since been reported in other parts of China, Japan, Thailand, and South Korea.

There is evidence of "limited human-to-human transmission" of the new virus, according to the World Health Organization, but not enough to evaluate the extent of that human transmission.

Traffic police will also conduct spot checks on private vehicles coming in and out of the city to look for live poultry or wild animals, after the virus was linked to a seafood and live animal market, according to a report by state media outlet the People's Daily, citing Wuhan's Municipal Health Commission.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it will expand health entry screenings to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, as the USA on Tuesday reported its first case of the potentially deadly coronavirus.

Countries around the world have stepped up airport screenings in response to the rapidly evolving outbreak. Spitters said health and hospital officials are using very strict isolation protocols since this is the first identified case in the US, and health care workers who potentially worked with the patient have been identified and will be monitored.

Health officials confirmed earlier this week that the disease can be spread between humans after finding two cases of people in southern Guangdong province who had not been to Wuhan. But information about the new virus is still thin, and it's not clear whether or how many Americans are at risk.

"For example, what is the source?"

"Currently, it can be said it is affirmative that there is the phenomenon of human-to-human transmission", he said in an interview with CCTV.

How is the virus transmitted?

He contacted his doctor on January 19.

The Washington patient developed symptoms and was seen at a clinic in Snohomish County.

What they're saying: Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday the country will work to curb the outbreak. Travelers to China should practice lots of good hand hygiene, he added, and do their best to avoid anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Andrew Joseph contributed reporting.

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