CDC Recommends People Avoid All Nonessential Travel to China

Rebekah Sager
January 27, 2020 - 4:46 pm
Coronavirus travel

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In response to an outbreak of the deadly coronavirus, Chinese officials have closed transport within and out of Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province, including buses, subways, trains, and the international airport. Additional restrictions and cancellations of events may occur.

There is limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas.

The outbreak began in early December 2019 and continues to grow. Initially, some patients were linked to the Wuhan South China Seafood City (also called the South China Seafood Wholesale Market and the Hua Nan Seafood Market).  

Chinese health officials have reported thousands of cases in China and severe illness has been reported, including deaths. Cases have also been identified in travelers to other countries, including the United States. Person-to-person spread is occurring in China. The extent of person-to-person spread outside of China is unclear at this time.

Signs and symptoms of this illness include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. This novel coronavirus has the potential to cause severe disease and death. Available information suggests that older adults and people with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems may be at increased risk of severe disease.

In response to this outbreak, Chinese officials are screening travelers leaving some cities in China. Several countries and territories throughout the world are reported to have implemented health screening of travelers arriving from China.

On arrival to the United States, travelers from China may be asked questions to determine if they need to undergo health screening. Travelers with signs and symptoms of illness (fever, cough, or difficulty breathing) will have an additional health assessment.

The CDC advises that if you must travel, take the below precautions. 

Avoid contact with sick people.

Discuss travel to China with your healthcare provider. Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease.

Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).

Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.