Fears are growing as the Wuhan Coronavirus continues to spread. Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, is now under lock down as the city tries to contain the outbreak of a killer virus.
So far, at least 17 have died from the virus and there have been more than 600 cases. The virus has spread to at least four other countries including the U.S.
“This is a new emerging virus and the details are changing daily and by the hour,” Steve Hermann, infection prevention manager at Desert Regional Medical Center, said.
As cases of Coronavirus continue to climb, the World Health Organization stopped short of declaring it a global health emergency.
“Make no mistake, this is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said.
In the U.S. the CDC is warning against non-essential travel to China. Airports across the country are now screening for the virus. Palm Springs International Airport is not one of those airports as of right now but Los Angeles and San Francisco both are.
LAX passengers this week could be seen wearing face masks amid efforts to stop the spread as an international airport.
“The signs and symptoms are very similar to influenza,” Hermann said.
In America, a Seattle-area man continues to recover in an isolation unit.
KTLA reports a 3-year-old girl from Azusa was sickened with a more common strain of the Coronavirus which was different than the recent Wuhan outbreak. She’s been in the hospital since before Christmas when her lung collapsed and she couldn’t breath.
The CDC is working to get ahead of the virus by developing a real time test for those who show symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath.
“The test is currently being performed at the CDC Atlanta and the goal is next week to distribute that to public health laboratories.” Dr. Satish Pillai of the CDC, said.
Rapid identification and isolation are key, according to officials, when it comes to stopping the spread of this dangerous illness.
Health screenings at five U.S. airports continue. As of right now, there is no vaccine or medication for the virus.
Officials say people should practice good hygiene by covering their mouths when they sneeze or cough, staying home when sick and washing hands often.