Airline stocks are getting walloped Monday as the coronavirus epidemic that started in China has resulted in travel bans in the country.
Shares of American Airlines Group (AAL) - Get Report fell 6.8% on Monday, while shares of Delta Air Lines (DAL) - Get Report declined 4.93% along with United Airlines (UAL) - Get Report, which also declined 4.93%. Southwest Airlines (LUV) - Get Report fell 1.4%, JetBlue (JBLU) - Get Report declined 3.75% and Alaska Air Group (ALK) - Get Report fell 2.83%.
More than 2,800 confirmed cases of the virus have been found in China with neighboring countries in South East Asia also experiencing a handful of infections each. There have been five cases confirmed in the United States.
So far 81 people have died from the coronavirus.
About a week ago the mysterious respiratory virus, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan, a city of about 11 million, had infected about 52 people. That number has quintupled in the week since.
Wuhan’s international airport alone has a “catchment” population of 19 million people, according to Imperial College London’s MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis researchers, but the Chinese government has suspended Lunar New Year celebrations as it works to contain the virus.
The biggest fear from the coronavirus is the contraction of deadly pneumonia.
“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to closely monitor an outbreak” of the virus, according to the health agency.
The first cases are believed to have occurred in December and have been linked to a large seafood and animal market, according to the CDC. The 2019-nCoV virus has been likened to the deadly Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome virus and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome virus.