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US gets 1st case of mysterious new Chinese illness

By AP

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People wear face masks as they ride an escalator at the Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, Tuesday, January 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

(AP) — The United States on Tuesday reported its first case of a new and potentially deadly virus circulating in China, saying a Washington state resident who returned last week from the outbreak’s epicenter was hospitalised in good condition near Seattle.

The man, identified only as a Snohomish County resident is in his 30s, was not considered a threat to medical staff or the public, health officials said.

The virus has infected about 300 people, all of whom had been in China, and killed six.

The newly discovered virus can cause coughing, fever, breathing difficulty and pneumonia.

Airports in the U.S. and other countries have stepped up monitoring, checking passengers from China for signs of illness.

The US is the fifth country to report seeing the illness, following China, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea.

Late last week, US health officials began screening passengers from Wuhan in central China, where the outbreak began, at three airports — New York City’s Kennedy airport and the Los Angeles and San Francisco airports.

On Tuesday, the CDC announced it will add Chicago’s O’Hare airport and Atlanta’s airport to the mix later this week.

What’s more, officials will begin forcing all passengers that originate in Wuhan to go to one of those five airports if they wish to enter the US.

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