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LEVEL 3

Novel Coronavirus in Wuhan, China

Warning - Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel
Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions
Watch - Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions Key Points

  • CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Wuhan, China.
  • There is an ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that can be spread from person to person.
  • Chinese officials have closed transport within and out of Wuhan, including buses, subways, trains, and the international airport.
  • Preliminary information suggests that older adults and people with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease from this virus.
  • The situation is evolving. This notice will be updated as more information becomes available.
What is the current situation?

  • CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Wuhan, China. In response to an outbreak of respiratory illness, Chinese officials have closed transport within and out of Wuhan, including buses, subways, trains, and the international airport.
  • Information for travelers to other parts of China is available at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/china.

A novel (new) coronavirus is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This outbreak began in early December 2019 and continues to expand in scope and magnitude. Chinese health officials have reported hundreds of cases in the city of Wuhan and severe illness has been reported, including deaths. Cases have also been identified in travelers from Wuhan to other parts of China and other countries, including the United States. We expect more cases to be confirmed. Person-to-person spread is occurring though it’s unclear how easily this virus is spreading between people at this time.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. There are several known coronaviruses that infect people and usually only cause mild respiratory disease, such as the common cold. However, at least two previously identified coronaviruses have caused severe disease — severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus.

Signs and symptoms of this illness include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. This novel coronavirus has the potential to cause severe disease and death. Preliminary information suggests older adults and people with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems may be at higher risk of severe illness from this virus. Many characteristics of this novel coronavirus and how it may affect people are still unclear.

In response to this outbreak, Chinese officials are screening travelers leaving the city of Wuhan. Several countries and territories throughout the world are reported to have implemented health screening of travelers arriving from Wuhan.

On arrival to the United States, travelers from Wuhan may undergo health screening, including having their temperature taken and being asked to fill out a symptom questionnaire. Travelers with signs and symptoms of illness (fever, cough, or difficulty breathing) will have an additional health assessment. What can travelers do to protect themselves and others?

CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel to Wuhan. If you must travel:
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease and should discuss travel to Wuhan with their healthcare provider.

If you traveled to Wuhan in the last 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should:
  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Clinician Information

Healthcare providers should obtain a detailed travel history for patients with fever and respiratory symptoms. For patients with these symptoms who were in Wuhan on or after December 1, 2019 and had onset of illness within 2 weeks of leaving, consider the novel coronavirus outbreak in China and notify infection control personnel and your local health department immediately.

Although routes of transmission have yet to be definitively determined, CDC recommends a cautious approach to interacting with patients under investigation. Ask such patients to wear a surgical mask as soon as they are identified. Conduct their evaluation in a private room with the door closed, ideally an airborne infection isolation room, if available. Personnel entering the room should use standard precautions, contact precautions, and airborne precautions, and use eye protection (goggles or a face shield). For additional infection control guidance, visit CDC’s Infection Control webpage. For additional information, please see:




This notice was originally posted January 23, 2020.


https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices...us-wuhan-china