(Reuters) U.S. warned to prepare for coronavirus pandemic as Europe lockdowns spread

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'ROME/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A second European hotel was in lockdown on Wednesday as authorities around the world battled to prevent the spread of coronavirus, although a senior U.S. health official said a pandemic was inevitable and urged Americans to prepare.

Austria sealed off the 108-room Grand Hotel Europa in the Alpine tourist hub of Innsbruck after an Italian receptionist tested positive for the flu-like virus that originated in China and has spread to about 30 countries.

Italy has become a frontline in the global outbreak of the virus, with 280 cases and 10 deaths, most in Lombardy and nearby Veneto. The receptionist and her partner, who also tested positive, visited their home in Lombardy last week.

A similar story was unfolding at the four-star H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in Tenerife on the Canary Islands, which was locked down on Tuesday after an Italian doctor and his wife were found to be infected. Spain also reported its first three cases of the disease on the mainland.

The United States told Americans on Tuesday to begin preparing for coronavirus to spread within the country as outbreaks in Iran, South Korea and Italy escalated and fears that the epidemic would hurt global growth rattled markets.'

- Reuters, U.S. warned to prepare for coronavirus pandemic as Europe lockdowns spread, February 26, 2020


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