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Sea-Tac among 20 airports to expand virus screening for travelers from China

Visitors from China who travel through Sea-Tac International Airport will undergo enhanced virus screening from federal health officials.

SEATAC, Wash. — Health officials will begin additional coronavirus screening at Sea-Tac International Airport for passengers returning from China.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Monday it would begin enhanced screening at its 20 quarantine stations across the U.S., which includes a station at Sea-Tac Airport.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said the enhanced screening would build on day-to-day activities at the quarantine stations, including identifying sick travelers.

“That’s what we’re going to be doing here – identifying ill travelers returning from China so we can make sure they’re appropriately treated and they don’t pass on this illness to others, but it’s also an incredibly important opportunity for us to educate those travelers of the signs and symptoms of this novel coronavirus,” Messonnier said.

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At Sea-Tac Airport, CDC and Health and Human Services officials will ask people to self-identify where they’ve traveled and screen for any illness. They will also hand out educational materials explaining what people should do if they come down with coronavirus symptoms, according to Sea-Tac Airport spokesperson Perry Cooper.

Novel coronavirus has sickened thousands of people mostly in China and caused dozens of deaths. The outbreak was first identified in the city of Wuhan in central China.

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Five cases have been identified in the U.S., including one man in Snohomish County.

The CDC has already been screening travelers from Wuhan for coronavirus at five airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Atlanta. The following quarantine stations will begin enhanced screening for travelers from China in addition to those five airports:

  • Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport
  • Boston Logan International Airport
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Dallas
  • Detroit Metro Airport
  • El Paso International Airport
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu
  • Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston
  • Miami International Airport
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
  • Newark Liberty International Airport
  • Philadelphia International Airport
  • San Diego International Airport
  • Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C.

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