Updated January 30, 2020
The CDC confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Chicago on January 13th, 2020 since then 5 other cases have been noted in the United States, including the first person-to-person transmission in Chicago as a result of that first case. A woman traveling from China via O’hare International Airport tested positive for the virus and is being quarantined. The Chicago case was the second confirmed case in the United States with the first appearing in Everett, Washington.
Chinese officials have traced the origin of the outbreak to Wuhan and the government has instituted travel bans and lockdowns to contain the virus.
What are U.S. Airports Doing?
The CDC has initiated the screening of Wuhan passengers at 5 International airports in the United States. International travel from Wuhan into the United States has been restricted to these locations.
- Los Angeles International Airport
- John F. Kennedy Internation Airport in New York
- San Francisco International Aiport
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
Confirmed cases of Wuhan Coronavirus
The First Outbreak of Coronavirus, H7N9 Occured in 2013
In 2013 the World Health Organization (WHO) called the H7N9 virus one of the “most lethal” because it was more severe than previously know bird flu strains.
At that time there were 108 cases and 23 fatalities. That about a 21% mortality rate. Scientists and health professionals have shown concern that this strain of bird flu seems to be developing much more quickly than the H5N1 strain that caused such concern.
Know the Symptoms of the Coronavirus
- Runny Nose
- Coughing with Sputum
- Sore Throat
- Difficult Breathing
- Chest Pain
- Muscle Pain
How to Protect Yourself from Infection
The virus does not appear to be easily transmitted through the air which is this good news for travelers. Infection occurs through direct contact with infected persons or animals.
- Avoid contact with sick individuals who have a fever, cough, runny nose or other symptoms of a virus
- Wash hands regularly
- Avoid touching your face or mouth with hands
- Do not shake hands
- Wear a protective mask in confined public spaces
Prepare For a Serious Outbreak
Scientists across the United States are working to create a vaccine for the H7N9 coronavirus, but don’t expect one any time soon. It will take months of clinical trials and more than a year for a vaccine to be made available should a suitable vaccine be created.
Should an outbreak occur, you’ll want to be prepared with emergency supplies, drinking water and food that will allow you to remain quarantined at home.