CDC raises Wuhan travel alert as coronavirus outbreak escalates

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Tami Chappell/File Photo

(Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday raised its travel alert for the coronavirus outbreak to a level 3, recommending people avoid all nonessential travel to Wuhan, China.

The agency earlier this week said it expects to see more cases of the Wuhan coronavirus in the United States and announced plans to expand screening to airports in Atlanta and Chicago.

The outbreak of a new coronavirus that began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan has killed 18 and infected nearly 600 people globally.

Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli