CDC begins enhanced health screenings at LAX, SFO & JFK to detect ill travelers on flts direct from / through Wuhan, China due to new coronavirus. See email.
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
WUHAN CHINA NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
On 31 December 2019, WHO was informed of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. Since that date, at least 41 new cases have been identified, as well as one death. Chinese investigators conducted gene sequencing of the virus and have ruled out SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, influenza, avian influenza, adenovirus and other common respiratory pathogens (i.e. a possible new type of coronavirus).
Although the virus was initially thought to be transmitted by animals, the WHO says there is now evidence of human-to-human transmission.
On 13 Jan, the Thai Health Ministry in Bangkok reported that a 61-year-old Chinese woman who had traveled from Wuhan has been been quarantined with the mystery strain, the first time it has been detected outside China.
On 14 Jan, the World Health Organization began warning hospitals worldwide of the possible spread the novel SARS-like China coronavirus.
On 16 Jan, Japan’s health ministry reported their first confirmed case of the coronavirus in a man who had visited Wuhan.
CHINESE NEW YEAR
A major concern for public health officials worldwide is the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations, during which the largest annual human migration takes place as Chinese people head home to celebrate the Lunar New Year Spring Festival with their families.
The first day of Chinese New Year starts with the new moon, which for 2020 falls on 25 January.
While the legal holiday lasts 7 days (from the Lunar New Year’s Eve to the sixth day of the first lunar month), many companies and public institutions enjoy a longer holiday up to 10 days or more. It is also a public holiday in countries such as Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, North Korea, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam.
During last year’s celebrations, it is estimated that 2.2 BILLION trips were made by automobile, 400 MILLION by rail, and 73 MILLION by air to and from points around the globe.
According to the Chinese travel services company Ctrip, the top five overseas destinations for Chinese New Year tourists are Thailand, Japan, the United States, Singapore and Australia.
Public Health Screening to Begin at 3 U.S. Airports
for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (“2019-nCoV”)
January 17, 2020
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.
Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.
via: Alerts USA