Princess Cruises is working with Japanese health officials after confirming the quarantine of one of its ships carrying more than 3,500 people after news one of its passengers tested positive for coronavirus.
A guest who hailed from Hong Kong disembarked Jan. 25 from the Diamond Princess while the ship docked in Hong Kong to visit a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with coronavirus.
"While on the ship he did not visit the ship’s medical center to report any symptoms or illness," according to a news release. "The hospital reports that he is in stable condition and the family members traveling with him remain symptom-free."
The cruise, which departed Jan. 20 from Yokohama, Japan, was scheduled to return Tuesday. Local health officials are reviewing the 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew members on board for symptoms.
As of Tuesday, the outbreak has infected over 20,000 people and killed more than 400, most of them in China.
The U.S. State Department late Thursday elevated its China travel advisory to level 4, recommending that Americans do not travel there. That change followed the World Health Organization's declaration of a global health emergency over coronavirus.
The Trump administration followed suit Friday and declared the coronavirus to be a public health emergency in the United States.
And for the first time in a half-century, U.S. health officials have issued a federal quarantine order, compelling 195 Americans evacuated from China to remain at an air base in California for 14 days.
What other travel precautions have been taken?
All three U.S. commercial airlines that serve China announced Friday they would temporarily halt all of their flights to and from mainland China. American is suspending flights immediately through March 28; Delta said it would suspend its U.S.-China flights from Feb. 6 through April 30; United is canceling flights from Feb. 6 until March 28, though the carrier said it would continue to operate one daily flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong. Nearly a dozen international carriers have also suspended service to China.
Cruise lines have begun to skip China port calls, step up screening measures, cancel sailings and even quarantined an entire ship for what turned out to be a case of the flu. On Thursday, the trade group Cruise Lines International Association pledged that its members will deny boarding to anyone who has traveled through mainland China in the past two weeks, in addition to other precautions.
Chinese authorities have suspended air, road and rail transportation in the area around Wuhan, the city where the virus was first identified, and placed restrictions on other activities throughout the country.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Common Wuhan coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Experts are unsure of whether the virus is able to transmit before symptoms appear or after. If it worsens it can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure or even death.
The virus can be spread from animals to people. But it also can be spread by coughing, sneezing and through close contact with an infected person or an object carrying the virus. Experts are still figuring out how long an infected person is contagious as they try to determine a point of transmission.
Health officials on Thursday reported the first U.S. case of person-to-person spread of coronavirus – the second confirmed case in Illinois and sixth in the nation. As of Tuesday, there are 11 reported cases in the U.S.
The first case of person-to-person transmission is the husband of a Chicago woman who developed symptoms after visiting China.
Contributing: Curtis Tate, Dawn Gilbertson, Jayme Deerwester, Morgan Hines, David Jackson, Adrianna Rodriguez, George Petras, Ramon Padilla, Jim Sergent and Janet Loehrke, Grace Hauck, USA TODAY.