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US Advises Against Travel To China; Virus Declared Emergency

BEIJING (AP) — The U.S. advised against all travel to China on Friday after the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of a new virus that has spread to more than a dozen countries a global emergency. The number of cases spiked more than tenfold in a week, including the highest death toll in a 24-hour period reported Friday.

The State Department’s travel advisory told Americans currently in China to consider departing using commercial means, and requested that all non-essential U.S. government personnel defer travel “in light of the novel coronavirus.”

“Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. Commercial carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China,” it said.

China counted 9,692 confirmed cases with a death toll of 213, including 43 new fatalities. The vast majority of the cases have been in Hubei province and its provincial capital, Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. No deaths have been reported outside China.

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