CDC adds health entry screenings at Atlanta airport due to coronavirus


ATLANTA (WATE) — The Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, also known as Atlanta Airport, will have entry health screenings for travelers this week due to the outbreak of the Chinese illness, coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Tuesday the first confirmed case of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the United States traveled to Washington state from China, where an outbreak of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus had been occurring since December 2019.

The CDC saying it had implemented public health entry screenings for travelers due the outbreak; with several international airports on the list, including Atlanta, which was will be added this week.

On Jan. 17, 2020, the CDC began implementing public health entry screening at San Francisco (SFO), New York (JFK), and Los Angeles (LAX) airports. This week CDC will add entry health screening at two more airports – Atlanta (ATL) and Chicago (ORD).

According to the CDC, Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and others circulating among animals including camels, cats and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people, such as has been seen with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). When person-to-person spread has occurred with SARS and MERS, it is thought to happen via respiratory droplets with close contacts, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. The situation with regard to 2019-nCoV is still unclear.

The CDC also stating that confirmation that some limited person-to-person spread with this virus is occurring in Asia raises the level of concern about this virus, but CDC continues to believe the risk of 2019-nCoV to the American public at large remains low at this time.

“This is a rapidly evolving situation,” a CDC report stated Tuesday.

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