Two weeks ago, Chinese medical authorities reported a mysterious new coronavirus in Wuhan, the most populous city in central China.
On Tuesday, the first case was reported in the US. The virus has so far infected around 300 people and killed six.
At first, authorities suspected that the coronavirus which likely originated in a seafood market could only spread from animals to humans. But they have since confirmed that humans can transmit the virus to one other.
The coronavirus family is a large group of viruses that typically affect the respiratory tract. Coronaviruses can lead to illnesses like the common cold, pneumonia, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a potentially fatal illness that resulted in 8,000 cases and 774 deaths in China between November 2002 and July 2003.
The timing of the new outbreak is particularly worrisome, since hundreds of millions of people are expected to travel to China for the Lunar New Year, which begins on Saturday and lasts until February 8.
Here’s how to stay safe while flying-
-Travelers should avoid close contact with people who are sick particularly those with cold symptoms.
-Wearing a mask isn’t particularly helpful, Toner said.
-The CDC warns travelers not to touching their eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
-If you’re traveling to China, steer clear of live animals.
-If you do become ill after traveling to China, report your symptoms to a health authority right away.