Michigan health officials step up to support response as coronavirus outbreak continues

Cases of coronavirus continue to increase

DETROIT – As cases of the novel coronavirus continue to increase around the world, health officials in Michigan are stepping up to support the response to the outbreak.

On Monday, the Michigan Department of Health Activated its Community Health Emergency Coordination Center. The move is an important step to support the response at a state and local level. It’s especially important considering Detroit Metro Airport is one of only 11 airports in the country taking travelers who have been in China the last 14 days.

Travelers are being routed to those 11 airports for enhanced screening.

In Wuhan, China, the first of two new hospitals is now taking in patients. The hospitals were built in less than 10 days and are needed to slow the spread of coronavirus, the Chinese government says.

READ: Do the masks people are buying really protect them from the coronavirus?

Tens of thousands of people have been infected by coronavirus, and at least 360 people have been killed by the virus in China since early December.

In the United States, health officials said two of the latest people diagnosed with the virus are in northern California: a 57-year-old man who recently returned from Wuhan and his wife.

The federal government has declared a public health emergency, banning most foreigners who have recently been to China from entering the U.S.

Flights from China are being routed through one of the aforementioned airports, where citizens are screened and possibly isolated for two weeks before being allowed to go home.

Health officials hope the aggressive steps will prevent widespread coronavirus infections in the U.S.

“The reason we haven’t seen spread -- that is persistent type of sustained transmission -- is because of good public health measure,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

There are still about 1,000 Americans waiting to return home from Wuham, and nearly 200 others have returned and will remain quarantined for another week.

Health officials continue to stress that the flu poses an even greater threat to Americans.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at least 11 people in the U.S. have tested positive for coronavirus.

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