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Coronavirus screenings coming to two more airports as first case hits US

Paul Conner

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials will begin screening passengers arriving from China at two more U.S. airports this week, as officials seek to detect and contain the deadly coronavirus.

The CDC confirmed the first U.S. case of the virus Tuesday.

Passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Chicago O'Hare International Airport will be screened. Officials have screened around 1,000 travelers at three U.S. airports: New York's JFK Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport, the CDC said in a briefing Tuesday.

What's more, officials will begin forcing all passengers that originate in outbreak city Wuhan, China, to go to one of those five airports if they wish to enter the U.S.

The patient, a male U.S. resident in his 30s, has been hospitalized, officials said. He is in good condition and poses little risk to the general public, they said. The man had traveled from China to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Jan. 15 and reached out to his health care provider on Jan. 19 after he developed symptoms.

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"We know that today's news is concerning," Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the CDC's director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a Tuesday briefing.

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The man's symptoms became evident after he entered the U.S., officials said, and he "acted quickly" to seek treatment and was hidden away from the public.

"We do expect additional cases in the United States and globally," Messonnier said.

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Passengers who seem like they might be infected will undergo testing for flu or other possible causes. The plan is to place them in isolation at a nearby hospital until doctors know what they're dealing with. Specialized testing for the virus can take a day for results, CDC officials said.

National Institutes of Health researchers said a vaccine could be a year away.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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