The CDC is warning Americans to put off any nonessential travel to China.
“This higher level of alert means that Americans should reconsider or postpone travel to any part of China,” United States Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said.
The warning comes as top health officials monitor a novel coronavirus.
On Tuesday, five cases had been confirmed in the United States and China was reporting more than 5,900 cases of the respiratory illness.
A Sioux Falls native who lives in China is remaining calm amid concerns over the virus.
Becky Nelson is back in her hometown visiting family.
But soon, the kindergarten teacher will be heading back to China, where she’s lived for about nine years.
“I like being able to use my language skills. I like being able to meet people from all over the world. My kids are really adorable,” Becky Nelson said.
Nelson lives in Shenzhen, which is hundreds of miles from where the novel coronavirus was first identified.
Nelson is well aware of the outbreak.
She’s talked with two different doctors about it ahead of her trip back.
“Both of them have given me the ‘OK’ and don’t seem concerned that this should be anything more–it acts similar to influenza,” Nelson said.
But she will be taking some tips back to China with her.
“Staying away from public places as much as possible. If I do, wearing a health mask, which is the same advice the doctors in China have been recommending. Washing my hands frequently,” Nelson said.
She knows what won’t stop the virus.
“It doesn’t help to make myself anxious,” Nelson said.
The CDC says symptoms of the coronavirus include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
If you’ve been to China within the past two weeks and you develop these symptoms, the CDC says you should call your doctor.