WUHAN, China (NBC) – Health officials in Texas and California are investigating two possible new cases of coronavirus, including one where the person is believed to have recently returned from Wuhan, China, the suspected epicenter of the virus.
The World Health Organization on Thursday stopped short of declaring coronavirus a global health emergency, but warned the threat is serious.
“Make no mistake. This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency,” WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
The agency is also not recommending any broad travel restrictions, but in the United States the Centers for Disease Control is warning against non-essential travel to China.
The government there has taken the extraordinary step of sealing off at least three cities, halting flights, trains and public transit.
The virus has killed at least 17 and sickened more than 600.
Among those is including a Seattle-area man who continues to recover in an isolation unit.
Health officials are also monitoring 16 people he had close contact with since returning from a trip to visit family in Wuhan last week.
The CDC is also working to get ahead of the virus by developing a real-time test for those who show symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath.