Coronavirus fears: Mayor Bill de Blasio, city officials visit Queens

FLUSHING, Queens (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is working to ease anxieties about the coronavirus by making a trip to Queens Thursday.

The mayor and city officials visited businesses in Flushing that say patronage is down because of concerns about the potentially deadly virus.

"In hard times, New Yorkers know to stand by their neighbors," de Blasio said. "We're in Flushing today to embrace Asian-American owned small businesses and say to all New Yorkers: New York City's Chinatowns are open for business."

The visit came a day after local lawmakers and the Chinatown Partnership launched an initiative to help struggling businesses.

The "Show some love in Chinatown" campaign encourages New Yorkers to travel to Chinatown this Valentine's Day.

There have been no cases of coronavirus in New York, and all potential cases tested by the CDC have come back negative.

Nationwide, there have been 15 confirmed cases, the most recent an evacuee from China who had been under quarantine in Texas.

Globally, coronavirus has infected more than 60,000 with nearly 1,400 deaths, mostly in mainland China.

The virus can cause fever, coughing, wheezing and pneumonia. Health officials think it spreads mainly from droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how the flu spreads.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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