Chicago woman is 2nd US patient with new coronavirus from China

More airports are screening passengers

(AP/Gray News) - A Chicago woman is the second U.S. patient diagnosed with the dangerous new virus from China.

Health officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the 60-year-old woman returned from a trip to China on Jan. 13 without showing any signs of the new pneumonia-like virus, but a few days later she called her doctor to report feeling sick.

The CDC says the woman is doing well, but is hospitalized to prevent spread of the virus and anyone she had close contact with is being monitored.

Officials say the risk to the U.S. public remains low but more cases are likely. Senators received a briefing on coronavirus from federal health officials Friday on Capitol Hill.

A man in his 30s in the Seattle area was confirmed to have coronavirus earlier in the week. The Seattle man, who also traveled to China, is said to be in good condition.

A male student at Texas A&M University has a suspected case of the virus and has been isolated at his home. Health workers are attempting to confirm the diagnosis.

France confirmed three cases of the potentially deadly virus from China as well Friday, the first in Europe.

China expands lockdown against virus, fast-tracks hospital

The new virus has the world on edge because it’s a close cousin to viruses that killed hundreds in separate outbreaks. While it’s too early to tell if this latest threat will prove as deadly, health authorities are drawing on lessons from that grim past.

The severely ill are the first spotted in an outbreak. But one key to stopping the virus will be learning about milder cases or those without symptoms, people who might unknowingly spread it. Meanwhile, the hunt for a vaccine has begun.

China is expanding its lockdown against the deadly new virus to an unprecedented 36 million people and rushing to build a prefabricated, 1,000-bed hospital for victims as the outbreak cast a pall over Lunar New Year, the country’s biggest and most festive holiday.

The number of confirmed cases around the world has climbed sharply to more than 1,200, with at least 41 deaths, all of them in China.

More airports are beginning to screen passengers arriving from China amid growing concerns over the outbreak of the virus.

The energy-rich Gulf Arab nation of Qatar, home to long-haul carrier Qatar Airways, said on Friday it had installed thermal scanners at its main hub.

Kuwait announced similar measures late the night before at Kuwait International Airport, joining the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which on Thursday announced screenings for all passengers arriving on direct flights from China.

Pakistan will also be screening passengers from neighboring China as a precaution.

Wuhan, where the outbreak began, and 12 neighboring cities have a combined population of more than 36 million. They have halted public transportation and closed temples, cinemas and other public spaces.

Food prices spiked as people stocked up for an indefinite isolation, but trucks carrying supplies were being allowed to enter to restock shelves.

Most people appear to be following the instructions to halt the spread of the virus, but China has one of the world’s most extensive systems of surveillance and social controls if its current measures don’t work.

Wuhan, where the outbreak began last month, and seven neighboring cities have a combined population of about 25 million.

A designated hospital with space for 1,000 beds is being built in the style of a facility that Beijing constructed during the SARS epidemic. The number of cases has risen to 830 while and the deaths include the youngest recorded victim at 36.

It’s due to be finished in less than two weeks.

Major landmarks around China have also closed due to the outbreak of the virus, including Shanghai Disneyland.

The resort was set to celebrate China’s Lunar New Year, but has closed as a preventative measure against the spread of the virus.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. Gray Media Group, Inc. and CNN contributed to this story. All rights reserved.