U.S. beefs up screening of travelers for new virus from China

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People wear face masks as they ride an escalator at the Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Face masks sold out and temperature checks at airports and train stations became the new norm as China strove Tuesday to control the outbreak of a new coronavirus that has reached four other countries and territories and threatens to spread further during the Lunar New Year travel rush. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. health officials are expanding their checks of international travelers for signs of a worrisome new virus from China, even as they say the risk to Americans so far is very low.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says worry about the virus should not impact Americans’ day-to-day lives. So far there are five confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. and no sign they have spread the illness to those around them.

But as a precaution, the U.S. is beefing up its checks on returning international travelers beyond the five airports initially announced, to encompass 20 entry points.

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