The patient flew from Wuhan to Chicago where she is now in isolation at a hospital.
CDC believes that the immediate risk to the US public is low at this time but the situation continues to evolve rapidly
The CDC said that the immediate risk to the US population is low. "We understand that some people are worried about this virus and how it may impact Americans. While this situation poses a very serious public health threat, CDC believes that the immediate risk to the US public is low at this time but the situation continues to evolve rapidly," said Dr Nancy Messonnier, Director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
China is in the process of building a 1,000-bed hospital in Wuhan that it plans to complete within six days. The facility is being built specifically to contain and treat novel coronavirus and is slated for completion by 3 February.
According to China’s National Health Commission, at least 26 people have died from the virus. China has confirmed that it has now imposed travel restrictions on 14 cities.
Will travel insurers cover trips cancelled due to fear of contracting the virus? Travellers are understandably concerned, and Compare Travel Insurance has responded with some advice, saying that people are unlikely to be covered for any change of mind decisions: “Travel insurance exists to cover the unforeseen, not events travellers are already aware of,” said Director of Compare Travel Insurance Natalie Ball. “Many policies will not cover pandemics as a general rule. However, it is worth being mindful that certain insurers may still pay out cancellation benefits provided your policy was purchased before a warning was issued.”
Most of the deaths that have been attributed to the coronavirus have been in patients with pre-existing medical issues, so while travel insurance does not tend to cover cancellation for fear of contracting the virus, Ball pointed out that travellers at a higher risk of contracting an infectious disease due to immune system issues might be able to claim. “If your immunity is suppressed in any way, insurers will assess your claim based on your particular condition,” she explained. “The government is advising against travel to Wuhan, so if this was part of your holiday plan, you may have provision to claim. Take note that in these circumstances, all cases are reviewed individually.”
She also said that, should a traveller contract the virus, in most cases their medical costs would be covered: “If travellers end up in a medical emergency overseas due to the virus, your travel insurer is likely to do everything they can to assist you. This not only includes covering the costs for medical treatment, but also providing support and updates to family members where appropriate.”