Coronavirus Covid-19: Medical screener at LAX tests positive

5 March 2020 (Last Updated March 11th, 2020 07:50)

US officials have confirmed that a medical professional who conducts screening at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has tested positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19).

Coronavirus Covid-19: Medical screener at LAX tests positive
A medical professional at Los Angeles International Airport has tested positive for coronavirus. Credit: Eric Salard.

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US officials have confirmed that a medical professional who conducts screening at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has tested positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19).

The infected worker, who is a contractor for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), wore protective equipment while screening passengers at the airport.

The person last worked at the airport on 21 February, more than a week before the symptoms appeared, NBC News reported.

After cold-like symptoms started developing on 29 February, the patient was tested on 1 March.

According to DHS, it is uncertain if the worker contracted the virus during work or from community transmission.

DHS added that no travellers screened at LAX have tested positive for Covid-19.

At present, investigators are looking into contacts the screener may have had during the past few weeks.

The infected worker reportedly has mild symptoms. He is quarantined at home, along with his immediate family.

Meanwhile, six new cases of the Covid-19 infection were registered in Los Angeles County in a span of two days. A local emergency has been declared in the region.

In the US, 153 cases of coronavirus infection have been reported so far, with 11 deaths.

The US was one of the first countries to report Covid-19 cases after the outbreak in China last December.

As of now, more than 95,000 infections and over 3,200 deaths have been reported worldwide.

The virus has spread to 77 more countries in one month, leading to border closures and health emergencies declared by a number of countries.