The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning to American travelers Monday against making any unnecessary trips to South Korea as coronavirus cases continue to spike there.
South Korea has reported eight deaths and nearly 900 infections from the virus that first began in China late last year. The CDC warning said travelers should "avoid all nonessential travel to South Korea" because of "limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas."
"A novel coronavirus is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness (COVID-19) in South Korea," the warning reads. "Illness with this virus has ranged from mild to severe. Signs and symptoms of infection include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Sore throat also has been reported in some patients. Some patients also have reported diarrhea without other symptoms," reads the CDC's warning.
"This new coronavirus has caused severe disease and death in patients who developed pneumonia. Risk factors for severe illness are not yet clear, although older adults and those with chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk for severe illness.
The majority of deaths and infections have been reported in China, particularly, the Hubei province, where the virus first began. As of Monday night, nearly 2,700 people had died and over 80,000 are sickened worldwide.
Many nations and airlines have restricted travel to China and instituted mandatory quarantines for travelers returning from affected areas.