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US raises travel advisory for S. Korea over coronavirus outbreak

 The United States on Saturday raised its travel advisory for South Korea, urging travelers to exercise increased caution amid the spread of the new coronavirus in the country.

The State Department said its on website that the travel advisory has been raised from Level 1 to Level 2, which calls for exercising “increased caution” as opposed to “normal precautions.”

Level 3 means “reconsider travel,” while the highest Level 4 means “do not travel.”

The measure comes after South Korea has reported 433 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus, including two deaths.

“Many cases of COVID-19 have been associated with travel to or from mainland China or close contact with a travel-related case, but sustained community spread has been reported in South Korea,” the State Department said in a notice. “Sustained community spread means that people in South Korea have been infected with the virus, but how or where they became infected is not known, and the spread is ongoing.”

The department said that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions, in particular, should consider postponing travel to South Korea as they may be at higher risk for severe disease.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued a Level 2 health notice for South Korea, calling for “enhanced precautions” when traveling to the country.

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