This article was last updated on Jan. 31, 2020.Jan. 24, 2020 — News about the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan, China, is changing rapidly. The respiratory infection, which is closely related to SARS and MERS, has been spreading across China, and cases have been diagnosed in several other countries, including the United States. We’ll provide the latest updates on cases, deaths, travel restrictions, and more here.

What is the latest news?

Foreigners who have traveled to China in the past two weeks will be barred from entering the United States, the government said Friday, as the White House declared a national public health emergency over the new coronavirus.

As part of that proclamation, any citizen returning to the U.S. who have been to Hubei province in China in the past 14 days will be under mandatory quarantine for 14 days, which is thought to be the incubation period for the virus. Any citizen who’s been to the rest of China within the past 2 weeks will get a health screening when they get back to the U.S. They’ll then be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. Their movements will be monitored.

These restrictions take effect beginning at 5 p.m. Sunday.

“The actions we have taken and continue to take compliment the work of China and the World Health Organization to contain the outbreak within China,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said.

“This is a significant global situation, but I want to emphasize at this time that the risk to the American public is low,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD.

Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the strict precautions are warranted because of “the issue now with this is that there are a lot of unknowns.”

He pointed out that the number of cases “has steeply inclined each and every day.”

We now know for certain that a person without symptoms can transmit the disease, Fauci said.

A new case report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, describes how a woman from China infected 4 co-workers at a German company before she showed any symptoms of the disease herself.

The U.S. measures follows the WHO’s declaration on Thursday that the 2019-nCoV outbreak is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, or PHEIC and come the same day the CDC issued federal quarantine orders for all 195 U.S. citizens who recently returned to the U.S. after living in China. The quarantine will last 14 days from the date the plane left Wuhan.These are the first federal quarantine orders issued in 50 years, the last coming in the 1960s for smallpox evaluations, CDC officials said.The CDC’s move follows a quarantine issued by Riverside County, CA, after one of the passengers tried to leave March Air Reserve Base Wednesday morning without being cleared by health officials.“This legal order is part of an aggressive public health response, the goal of which is to prevent, as much as possible, community spread of this novel virus in the United States,” said Nancy Messonnier, MD, Director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.”If we take strong measures now, we may be able to blunt the impact of the virus on the United States,” she said.Better to over-prepare, she said.”We are preparing as if this were the next pandemic. But we are hopeful still that this is not, and will not be the case.”Health officials also clarified the distinctions between isolation and quarantine. Isolation is used to keep a person who’s already sick from infecting others. Quarantines restrict the movement of someone who is exposed, but not yet sick.