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US government urges Americans to reconsider travel to China because of coronavirus

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Monday it had not recorded any new confirmed cases of the illness overnight since its last update of five, but that as many as 110 potential cases were under investigation.The State Department said Americans should reconsider any plans to travel to China during the outbreak.

January 28, 2020 / 07:50 AM IST

The U.S. State Department urged Americans on Monday to reconsider going to China because of the coronavirus, after warning against travel to the Hubei province of China, where the respiratory illness is believed to have originated, .

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Monday it had not recorded any new confirmed cases of the illness overnight since its last update of five, but that as many as 110 potential cases were under investigation.The State Department said Americans should reconsider any plans to travel to China during the outbreak.

In an advisory posted on Friday, the State Department said:

"Do not travel to Hubei province, China due to novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China.

It added: "Chinese authorities have imposed strict travel restrictions in the area around Wuhan. Travelers should be aware that the Chinese government could prevent them from entering or exiting parts of Hubei province," the advisory said.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The coronavirus, which causes respiratory symptoms similar to a cold or flu, has been linked to a seafood market in Wuhan, the largest city in central China, with a population of about 11 million. That market has since been shut down.

The outbreak has killed 81 and infected more than 2,800 in China.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday offered any help China needed to control the outbreak, which has also left tens of millions stranded during the Lunar New Year, the biggest Chinese holiday.

The CDC has said that of the investigated cases across 26 states, 32 people had tested negative, the CDC said.

There is no evidence so far that the coronavirus is transmitted through imported goods, Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a briefing with reporters.

The CDC raised issued a separate travel alert last week recommending people avoid all nonessential travel to Wuhan.
Reuters
first published: Jan 28, 2020 07:44 am

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