Travelers flying into O'Hare from China to be screened

Updated 1/21/2020 10:18 PM

CHICAGO -- Travelers arriving at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport from Wuhan, China will be screened for the respiratory coronavirus, health officials announced Tuesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decision comes as health officials announced a man in Washington state is infected with the virus, which has killed nine people and infected about 440 people in China. The U.S. is the fifth nation to report seeing the illness, joining China, Thailand, Japan and South Korea.


National Health Commission official Li Bin told reporters the figures from China were current as of midnight Tuesday. All the deaths had been in Hubei province.

The virus - part of the coronavirus family, which includes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS - broke out in Wuhan last month. All passengers coming to the U.S. from the city will pass through airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta, in addition to O'Hare.

There is a global concern over an outbreak similar to SARS, which spread from China to more than a dozen countries in 2002-2003. Numerous nations have adopted screening measures for travelers from China, especially those arriving from Wuhan.

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