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Sen. King among senators pressing for updates, data-driven response to coronavirus

In New Hampshire, two people are being closely monitored and isolated after showing respiratory symptoms similar to the Wuhan coronavirus.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Sen. Angus King (I-ME) joined 30 of his U.S. Senate colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar. According to King, the letter requests updates on the administration's response to the new Wuhan coronavirus and information on the steps being taken to keep families safe.

King's office said the senators' letter asks HHS to keep them updated with the latest information regarding the severity of the disease, the country's capacity to diagnose cases, the steps being taken to prepare U.S. health care workers and the screening systems in place at U.S. airports.

Maine does not have a confirmed case of coronavirus, nor is the state actively monitoring anyone for the virus. Despite that, the Maine Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is working to ensure it's prepared to handle any instances of Mainers becoming infected.

In New Hampshire, two people are being closely monitored and isolated after showing respiratory symptoms similar to the Wuhan coronavirus.

RELATED: Maine prepares for Wuhan coronavirus

“We write to express concern about the rapidly evolving 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), to urge your continued robust and scientifically driven response to the situation, and to assess whether any additional resources or action by Congress are needed at this time. A quick and effective response to the 2019-nCoV requires public health officials around the world work together to share reliable information about the disease and insight into steps taken to prevent, diagnose, and treat it appropriately,” the senators wrote.

Congress recently passed a budget deal that increased funding for the CDC and its Infectious Disease Rapid Response Reserve Fund, which the senators said provides the agency with an immediate source of funding to prevent and prepare for a situation similar to the one happening with coronavirus. 

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