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CDC adds Italy and Iran to list of countries to avoid amid coronavirus outbreak

The CDC has issued a travel warning for Italy and Iran due to the new coronavirus. It's the same status that China and South Korea have already been under.

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials are urging Americans not to travel to Iran or Italy because of the global outbreak of the new coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday added both countries to the list of those that travelers should avoid because of the virus, known as COVID-19. The CDC’s move raises the warning to level 3 for Iran and Italy, which now puts them under the same status that South Korea and China are under.

The CDC designation warns that travelers need to "avoid nonessential travel" to those countries. 

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The federal agency had raised their travel warning for South Korea to level 3 on Monday, while China, the epicenter of the outbreak, has been at that level since early January. 

The CDC said the new virus has caused a widespread, ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness. It is warning that older adults especially, and people with chronic medical conditions, are at a heightened risk for "severe disease."

On Saturday the Iran Health Ministry spokesman reported 43 dead amid 593 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in the Islamic Republic. 

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Credit: AP
A woman wearing a sanitary mask walks past the Duomo gothic cathedral in Milan, Italy, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. A dozen Italian towns saw daily life disrupted after the deaths of two people infected with the virus from China and a pair of case clusters without direct links to the outbreak abroad. A rapid spike in infections prompted authorities in the northern Lombardy and Veneto regions to close schools, businesses and restaurants and to cancel sporting events and Masses. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

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