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.
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.