By Cailey Rizzo
January 21, 2020

The viral outbreak that has affected over 300 and killed six in Asia has reached the United States.

On Tuesday, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed that a man in Seattle, Washington, had been diagnosed with the disease that started in the city of Wuhan in China, per the Associated Press.He is in his thirties and currently hospitalized.

As a nationwide precaution, the CDC set up screening points at airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York for travelers from China. Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport were added to the list on Tuesday, USA Today reports. The man confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus returned from China in the middle of last week.

The virus, which has also spread to Japan, South Korea, and Thailand, was originally thought to have been connected to a seafood market in Wuhan, though it has been confirmed that it can be transmitted human-to-human.

Pedestrians wearing masks cross a street in Beijing, China
Credit: Getty Images

China’s national health administration has confirmed over 300 cases of the virus — 77 of which were reported on January 20. And on Monday, 60 new cases were confirmed in Wuhan.

“Investigations into this novel coronavirus are ongoing and we are monitoring and responding to this evolving situation,” Martin Cetron, the director of CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, said in a statement on Friday.

CDC officials at the airports will be examining travelers for fever and symptoms like coughing or difficulty breathing.

Travelers wearing protective masks at the Daxing international airport in Beijing
Travelers wearing protective masks at the Daxing international airport in Beijing.
| Credit: Getty Images

Attention to the virus is particularly high during one of China’s busiest travel seasons of the year. This year’s Lunar New Year festivities are expected to see at least three billion trips from people traveling for the celebrations during the coming weeks, the Chinese State Council said.

A variety of Chinese travel booking sites are offering travelers free cancellations on their Lunar New Year plans, according to Reuters. China’s civil aviation and railway operators have yet to implement a cancellation policy but at least nine of China’s airlines have allowed those who have been quarantined or diagnosed with the disease to reschedule or cancel their flights.

Tour agencies have been banned from being people out of Wuhan, according to CNN, and coronavirus screening areas in public spaces are expected to increase.

Taiwan discovered its first case of the disease at Taoyuan International Airport on Tuesday, according to a Taiwanese outlet.

“Much remains to be understood about the new coronavirus, which was first identified in China earlier this month,” the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement last week. “Not enough is known about 2019-nCoV to draw definitive conclusions about how it is transmitted, clinical features of disease, or the extent to which it has spread. The source also remains unknown.”