CDC to test more suspected cases of coronavirus after revising guidelines

Travelers wearing masks arrive on a direct flight from China, after a spokesman from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said a traveller from China had been the first person in the United States to be diagnosed with the Wuhan coronavirus, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Washington, January 23, 2020.

David Ryder | Reuters

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it revised its guidelines on Thursday to allow clinicians across the U.S. to test more people suspected of carrying the new coronavirus.

Under the prior federal guidelines, clinicians could test suspected COVID-19 patients if they had traveled recently from China or had been in contact with someone known to be infected. The new guidelines, which were posted to the CDC’s website Thursday, appear to place more power in the hands of local health practitioners to determine who should get tested.

“We revised our case definition for persons under investigation and today that has been posted along with a new health advisory,” Director of the CDC Robert Redfield told a House of Representatives subcommittee Thursday. “When a clinician or public health individual suspects coronavirus then we should be able to get a test for coronavirus.”

The news comes after the CDC confirmed on Wednesday the first possible case of community transmission in the U.S.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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