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updated: 3/9/2020 8:21 PM

Fourth Chicago convention canceled due to coronavirus worry

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CHICAGO -- Fears of coronavirus transmission prompted the American College of Cardiology on Monday to cancel its annual World Congress of Cardiology meeting planned for this month at Chicago's McCormick Place.

The meeting of cardiologists was expected to attract 18,000 people March 28-30. Last week the International Housewares Association, among others groups, scrapped events scheduled to take place in Chicago, causing the loss of about 100,000 visitors to the city.

The College of Cardiology said the decision to cancel the meeting followed updates and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention and the World Health Organization. Spokeswoman Nicole Napoli said many of the prospective attendees and speakers for the convention have been restricted from traveling.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with health problems, it can cause severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the virus.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Monday four new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, bringing the total to 11, and he issued a disaster proclamation giving the state access to state money and possibly federal reimbursement for the costs of fighting the potentially deadly illness.