American family in China are hiding in their vacation house


An Indiana family's holiday in China has turned into a nightmare as the deadly coronavirus outbreak forces them to hide in their vacation home.

Ken Zurek and his family, from Highland, Indiana are visiting Chongqing, a city about 500 miles from the epicenter of the outbreak, Wuhan, where at least 1,287 are infected and 41 are dead. 

But its spread well beyond the central city, striking nearly 900 in China and traveling to at least nine other countries, including the US, where a second case of the virus has been confirmed in Chicago, Illinois. 

Chongqing is not among the 16 locked down cities in China, but Zurek and his family are still largely afraid to go outside of the home they are staying in. 


'Every time we do step out, we come back we make sure we change our clothes and take a shower right away so we dont spread any of the virus inside the house here,' Zurek said. 

'Most everyone is wearing a mask right now to prevent further outbreak,' he added. 

It's a problem that's becoming widespread. Even Chinese online retailers are running low on medical supplies, including masks, hand sanitizer, goggles and scrubs. 

Since the outbreak began at the end of December, scientists have increasingly realized just how contagious it is.  

Although much is left to learn about the SARS-like virus, we now know that it can spread between humans via saliva. 

But people in China are concerned it could be even more easily transmissible.  

'The big concern here for everybody is we are not certain if it's airborne or if it's human contact,' Zurek said. 

Either way, the timing of the outbreak could hardly be worse. 

China has canceled all planned festivities in an effort to contain the outbreak. 

'Lunar New Year is the biggest time of the year for the Chinese people,' said Zurek. 

'It's the Super Bowl of holidays for them.' 

Lunar New Year is also the most high-traffic travel season for the country.  

With travel bans spreading to more and more cities in China, it's unclear if Zurek (right) and his family's plans to return to the US will be disrupted. Pictured: with his wife

Chinese authorities quickly shut down public transportation as well as travel in and out of Wuhan. A total of 16 cities are now under similar lockdowns. 

Ahead of the Wuhan travel ban, the US rerouted all incoming flights from Wuhan to five airports: John F Kennedy International Airport, San Francisco International. LAX, Chicago O'Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International. 

Although, ostensibly, there shouldn't be any more flights from the city at the outbreak's center, the CDC said Friday it will continue enhanced screening at those airports. 

It's unclear when Zurek and his family plan to return to the US, or if the outbreak and ensuing travel restrictions will disrupt their flights. 

Both the US State Department and the CDC have issued travel warnings asking that Americans avoid any unnecessary travel to Wuhan. 

CDC officials are investigating 63 potential coronaviruses in the US, from 22 states. 

Among those, according to local reports, are 43 people who came into contact with the first US patient in Washington state, several people in California, those who came into contact with a Texas student, as well as another student in Tennessee.  

Symptoms to look out are flu-like, and include coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, fever and runny nose. 

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk

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