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US Confirms 5 Coronavirus Cases, 110 More Under Investigation - Health Watchdog

© REUTERS / RINGO CHIUPassengers leave LAX after arriving from Shanghai, China
Passengers leave LAX after arriving from Shanghai, China - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US health authorities are investigating up to 110 persons for suspected exposure to the new coronavirus although there are only five confirmed cases in the United States, according to an official from Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"To date, we have a 110 of what we are calling Persons Under Investigation, or PUI, from 26 states", Nancy Messonnier, the director for Immunization and respiratory diseases at the CDC, told reporters. "This is a cumulative number and will only increase. We still only have 5 confirmed positives and 32 that have tested negative".

The CDC said on its website that the five cases involved US persons who had traveled back from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the reported epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Most recently, the infection was discovered in Los Angeles, California. Other states with cases are Arizona, Illinois and Washington.

The US Department of State alerted Americans in a travel advisory on Monday to "reconsider travel to China due to novel coronavirus".

The State Department pointed out that the CDC has not yet issued a level 3 warning for all of China, however, the Chinese authorities are introducing quarantines and restricting travel throughout the country. The State Department issued earlier the Level 4 "do not travel" advisory for Hubei province.

Medical staff and security personnel stop patients' family members from getting too close to the Jinyintan hospital, where patients with pneumonia caused by the new strain of coronavirus are being treated, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, 20 January 2020 - Sputnik International
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US President Donald Trump said the United States is in close contact with China regarding the novel coronavirus outbreak and is ready to extend any assistance necessary. Trump added that US authorities were "strongly on watch" despite very few cases of coronavirus infections reported in the country.

The virus has killed at least 80 people and infected nearly 3,000 in China, spreading to more than a dozen of countries.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced on Sunday that he was traveling to Beijing to discuss measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak, which started in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan.

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