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Americans flown from China virus zone arrive in California

The plane carrying 201 American evacuees landed in California after everyone aboard passed a health screening in Alaska.

A plane evacuating 201 Americans from the Chinese city at the center of the virus outbreak has arrived in Southern California. The aircraft landed Wednesday morning at March Air Reserve Base east of Los Angeles after a refueling stop in Anchorage, Alaska

Countries began evacuating their citizens from the Chinese city hardest-hit by an outbreak of a new virus that has killed 132 people and infected nearly 6,000.

All passengers underwent two health screenings in China and were screened twice in Anchorage before being allowed to continue on the trip. Alaska's Department of Health and Social Services says one passenger received medical attention for a minor injury that happened before boarding the airplane in China.  

The passengers will undergo additional screenings on Wednesday in California and be placed in temporary housing. Officials have not said how long they will stay there. 

British Airways says it's immediately suspending all of its flights to and from mainland China after the U.K. government warned against unnecessary travel to the country. The airline operates daily flights from London's Heathrow Airport to Shanghai and Beijing.

Asian budget carriers Lion Air and Seoul Air have also suspended flights to China. Finnair, Hong-Kong based Cathay Pacific and SIngapore-based Jetstar Asia have reduced the number of flights to the country. 

Four people who arrived on a Japanese evacuation flight have coughs and fevers and were getting further medical checks. It wasn't immediately known if they were infected with the new type of coronavirus. Its symptoms are similar to the cold or flu and many other illnesses.

The United Arab Emirates is confirming its first cases of the virus. The UAE's state-run news agency said a Chinese family of four had come down with the illness. The UAE is home to long-haul carriers Emirates and Etihad Airways and is a hub for global air travel.

China's latest count of 5,974 cases on the mainland was a smaller daily rise than the previous day's -- 1,459 new cases on Wednesday compared to 1,771 on Tuesday.

U.S. health officials are expanding screenings of international travelers and taking other precautions but, for now, they insist the risk to Americans is very low.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday that worry about the virus should not impact Americans' day-to-day lives. So far there are five confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. and no sign they have spread the illness to those around them. But as a precaution, the U.S. is beefing up its checks on returning international travelers beyond the five airports initially announced, to encompass 20 entry points.

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TEGNA Staff contributed to this report.

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