As Philly airport begins coronavirus screening, US issues Level 4 travel advisory

Tim Jimenez
January 31, 2020 - 7:40 am
PHL international terminal

Tim Jimenez/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The U.S. State Department is now telling Americans they should not travel to China because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

The federal agency issued a Level 4 "Do Not Travel" advisory on Thursday. It is the highest level on a scale from 1-4. 

The news comes after the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency, saying the coronavirus has become a threat beyond China.

There are no direct flights between Philadelphia and China, but earlier this week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it would expand its coronavirus screenings to Philadelphia International and several other airports around the country. 

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After the screenings were put into place, the CDC reported the first person-to-person transmission of the virus. Health officials say a Chicago woman infected her husband, who then became the sixth American to get the virus. The other people infected are in Washington State, California and Arizona.

Even with the travel warning, the CDC director says the risk to Americans overall is low. There are people who use facemasks, including some people flying or working here at the airport, but health officials say it’s not necessary to wear one, and they’re not foolproof.