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Screening for coronavirus to expand to Chicago, Atlanta airports

Screening for coronavirus to expand to Chicago, Atlanta airports
© Getty Images

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials said Tuesday that screening for a deadly form of coronavirus would be expanded to two more U.S. airports.

In the agency's announcement confirming the first case of the disease in the U.S., CDC officials said screening for the virus would be conducted at both Chicago's and Atlanta's airports.

The move comes after dozens of Chinese citizens have been sickened with a form of pneumonia due to the disease, which is believed to have originated in the Chinese province of Wuhan.

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Health officials in other regions, including Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, have also begun screening Chinese travelers for the disease in recent days.

CDC officials said that despite the measures, the risk of the virus to the general U.S. public “remains low at this time.”

China's president this week urged local officials to cooperate with each other in his first public statement about the disease.

“The recent outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan and other places must be taken seriously,”  President Xi Jinping said Monday. “Party committees, governments and relevant departments at all levels should put people’s lives and health first.”