For the first time since the Ebola epidemic in 2014, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is screening certain travelers for a deadly virus. A virus originating in China has prompted the agency to impose health screening for certain flights into airports in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. As we went to press, there was one reported case of the virus in the United States, and six deaths in China. The following is from a news release issued Friday by Customs and Border Protection:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have implemented enhanced health screening for travelers entering the United States on direct or connecting flights from Wuhan, China, due to an outbreak of pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This additional health screening is now in place at three U.S. airports—John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
In coordination with the CDC, CBP has measures already in place to identify travelers with overt signs of illness at ports of entry who may be potentially infected with a communicable disease and to minimize the risk to the traveling public. This enhanced screening will be for symptoms specifically related to the 2019-nCoV and will be conducted by CDC personnel upon arrival.
Based on current information, the CDC has determined that the novel coronavirus presents a low risk to the American public; however, they are taking proactive preparedness precautions. More information about the novel coronavirus, including measures that travelers can take to protect themselves, is available on the CDC website.
We will provide updates of any developments.