Five U.S. cities will begin testing flu patients for coronavirus.
The CDC announced on Friday that patients with flu-like symptoms in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Fransisco and Seattle will be screened for the new virus if they test negative for flu.
Fifteen people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the U.S. so far, and the CDC says over 600 people are in quarantine. The numbers pale in comparison to China's outbreak of over 66,000 confirmed cases.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says the U.S. has already screened more than 32,000 people coming into the country for the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. He calls the new plan to test flu patients an "early warning system" in case it does start spreading across the U.S. He told NPR on Friday, "it's a rapidly changing situation, and so we have to prepare in the event that this spreads more fully."
The CDC plans to expand the testing to more cities.
Contains footage from CNN.
Correction: This story incorrectly identified COVID-19 as a virus. It is the disease caused by coronavirus. This story has been updated.