The scary new strain of coronavirus that is spreading across parts of China and beginning to pop up in other areas, including the United States, has resulted in a full lockdown of many Chinese cities. Wuhan, which was the center of the outbreak and is believed to be where the first infections took place, holds some 11 million people, and not all of them are native to China.
As CBS News reports, around 1,000 Americans traveling through the area are now subject to the city-wide quarantine, and they’re desperately searching for a way out.
The virus has been blamed for over 100 deaths thus far, and it’s estimated that nearly 5,000 people have been infected worldwide. The vast majority of those cases are concentrated in China, and specifically Wuhan. Chinese health officials are doing what they think is right, and that means locking down anyone who might be infected, asking people to remain home and avoid contact with others.
Because the virus is capable of jumping from person to person — and because each infected individual has the potential to spread the virus to multiple others — a lockdown is really the best course of action at this point.
Unfortunately, that does little to help the travelers who just happened to be in Wuhan at the wrong time. At least one US Government flight out of the country are scheduled for this week, and the American travelers in Wuhan are reportedly vying for seats aboard this flight.
In the meantime, China is warning that many more infections are likely to come and that a huge number of people have likely remained undiagnosed. Additionally, doctors in the country have issued a warning that the virus can spread even during its incubation period, meaning that infected individuals who show no symptoms may still be capable of spreading the virus to others.