Top U.S. health officials to brief lawmakers on coronavirus

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Germany, Japan report first human-to-human transmission of coronavirus

Deadly new virus has infected more people in China than SARS

Federal health officials will hold a closed-door meeting Thursday with lawmakers to brief them about the globally spreading Wuhan coronavirus, which has already killed more than 130 people worldwide and infected almost 6,000 others.

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations panel, announced the briefing on Tuesday. DeGette’s committee oversees the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases and the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This is an extremely deadly virus that’s spreading rapidly around the world,” said DeGette, who requested the briefing after the first U.S. case of coronavirus was reported in Washington state. “We need to know exactly what the administration is doing to prevent the spread of this dangerous virus here in the U.S., and what, if any, additional resources they need to protect the public’s health.”

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20 Million People Quarantined in China Due to Coronavirus Outbreak The government of China has suspended travel in and out of three cities, including Wuhan. According to 'USA Today,' at least 17 people have died due to the virus. More than 500 have been infected. The virus is thought to have been spread from an animal to a human. More than a month after the first confirmed case in Wuhan, China officials confirmed the coronavirus spreads between humans. It has been confirmed in a handful of othe

Countries began evacuating their citizens Wednesday from the Chinese city hardest-hit by a new virus that has now infected more people in China than were sickened in the country by SARS.

The number of confirmed cases jumped to 5,974, surpassing the 5,327 in mainland China during the SARS outbreak in 2002-2003.

The death toll rose to 132, which is still lower than the 348 people who were killed in China by SARS. Scientists say there are still many critical questions to be answered about the new virus, including just how transmissible and severe it is.

»MORE: CDC expands coronavirus screening to 15 more U.S. airports

The briefing will be open to all members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, including U.S. Rep. Earl “Buddy” Carter, a Republican who represents Georgia’s first congressional district. CDC Director Robert Redfield will be among those who will conduct the briefing.

The CDC announced Monday that 110 people in 26 states across the U.S. are under investigation for coronavirus. According to the CDC, there are five confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. so far, and all involve patients who recently traveled from China.

The CDC also has increased the number of American airports screening for the deadly Wuhan coronavirus to 20. Previously, only five airports — including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International — were screening for the disease, which has killed more than 100 people worldwide. The airports that are adding screenings have not been identified by the CDC.

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A Chicago woman is the second U.S. patient with new virus from China.

On Tuesday, the U.S. and several other nations began airlifting citizens out of a Chinese city at the center of a virus outbreak that has killed more than 100 people.

»MORE: CDC increases coronavirus travel warning to level 3

U.S. health officials expanded their recommendation for people to avoid non-essential travel to any part of China, rather than just Wuhan and other areas most affected by the outbreak.

See where there have been confirmed coronavirus cases

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Experts worry that the new virus may spread more easily than originally thought, or may have mutated into a form that does so. It is from the coronavirus family, which also can cause the common cold as well as more serious illnesses such as SARS.

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Officials say five people have tested positive for the illness in the U.S. The virus has claimed the lives of at least 80 people in China.

The virus is thought to have spread to people from wild animals sold at a Wuhan market. China on Sunday banned trade in wild animals and urged people to stop eating meat from them.