AIRPORTS in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco will begin screening passengers for a mystery respiratory illness that has killed two people and sickened dozens of others in Asia.
John F. Kennedy Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, and San Francisco International Airport will screen travelers from Wuhan, China flying into the US for novel coronavirus, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday.
John F. Kennedy Airport was the first airport to start screening passengers on Friday in New York City[/caption]
About 100 experts from the CDC are being deployed to the three airports, which will begin the screenings this weekend.
About 5,000 passengers are expected to be screened throughout the next few weeks, CDC officials said.
The illness first surfaced in December in central China, according to the New York Times.
A 69-year-old man and a 61-year-old man died from the disease within days of each other just last week in Wuhan, city officials told NBC News.
41 people in the city have been diagnosed with the illness; 12 have been cured as of late Thursday, the news outlet reported.
Fears of a widespread outbreak heightened on Wednesday, when reports surfaced that two people in Thailand and a Chinese man in Japan became sickened with the SARS-like virus.
WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS?
Coronavirus is an airborne virus, spread in a similar way to colds and the flu.
The virus attacks the respiratory system, causing lung lesions.
Symptoms include a runny nose, headache, cough and fever, shortness of breath, chills and body aches.
It is incredibly contagious and is spread through contact with anything the virus is on as well as infected breath, coughs or sneezes.
In 2003 an outbreak of a similar virus, SARS, killed more than 900 around the world within weeks.
The virus may have already spread to Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan.
Screenings will begin in San Francisco (pictured) and Los Angeles on Sunday[/caption]
About 5,000 passengers landing from Wuhan, China are expected to be screened over the coming weeks[/caption]
MOST READ IN NEWS
A sign cautions travelers in Japan’s Narita Airport of the novel coronavirus, which killed a Chinese man in the country[/caption]
The unknown illness is caused by coronavirus, a strain of a family of viruses that can cause ailments ranging from the common cold to more severe sicknesses like SARS.
It is also the cause of MERS, a virus carried by camels that people can contract from contact with the animals.
Infected people can spread the disease to one another, and nearly 30 to 40 percent of cases have been fatal, the Times reported.
Most people with novel coronavirus are believed to have contracted it from exposure to animals at a market in Wuhan that sells seafood and meat, the news outlet reported.
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