State Dept Travel Advisory - Level 4

Americans To Be Evacuated From Wuhan China

US Department of State ordered the departure of all non-emergency personnel and their family members

us airliner to evacuate americans from Wuhan

The U.S. government is reported to be arranging a charter flight to evacuate its citizens and diplomats from the Peoples Republic of China city of Wuhan to San Francisco on January 28, 2020, according to a US State Department. statement.

Previously, the US Department of State notified U.S. citizens via a Level 4 Travel Advisory on January 23, 2020, which said ‘travelers should be aware that the Chinese government could prevent them from entering or exiting parts of Hubei province.’

Additionally, ‘travelers (to China) should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.’

Furthermore, this ‘Do Not Travel’ Advisory said ‘the Department of State ordered the departure of all non-emergency U.S. personnel and their family members. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Hubei province.’

This evacuation is related to the expanding outbreak in China of a novel coronavirus known as 2019-nCoV. 

As of 10:53 (Beijing time) on January 25, 2020, China’s National Health Committees reported  1,408 confirmed cases and 42 2019-nCoV related fatalities.

From a health-risk perspective, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 3 Travel Alert, recommending travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Wuhan, China. 

Upon arrival in the United States, travelers from China may undergo health screening, including having their temperature taken. Travelers with signs and symptoms of illness, such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, will be subjected to additional health assessment.

On January 24th, the CDC confirmed the 2nd infection of the 2019-nCoV in the state of Illinois and was evaluating about 65 cases in 22 states.

The CDC says coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. There are several known coronaviruses that infect people and usually only cause mild respiratory disease, such as the common cold. 

But, at least two previously identified coronaviruses have caused severe disease — severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus.

MERS cases continue to be reported in 2020, primarily in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Signs and symptoms of these coronavirus related illnesses include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Unfortunately, the US Food and Drug Administration has not approved a vaccine for these coronaviruses, including 2019-nCoV, as of January 25, 2020.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said in a statement on January 24th, "The NIH is in the process of taking the first steps towards the development of a vaccine, and it would take a few months until the first phase of the clinical trials get underway and more than a year until a vaccine might be available."

Recent coronavirus vaccine candidate news

  • January 23, 2020 - Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. said in a press release published on January 23, 2020, that the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations funding will support Inovio's preclinical and clinical development through Phase 1 human testing of the INO-4800 vaccine candidate.
  • December 21, 2019 – A Phase Ib clinical trial in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has launched to evaluate a vaccine candidate to protect people against the MERS-CoV.
  • July 25, 2019 – A Pennsylvania-based, clinical-stage biotechnology company announced positive results from the first-in-human, Phase 1 clinical trial of its INO-4700 vaccine against the MERS. 

Travel vaccine news is published by Vax-Before-Travel.