Chinese authorities are locking down three cities that are home to more than 18 million people in an unprecedented effort to try to contain the deadly new virus that has sickened hundreds and spread to other parts of the world during the busy Lunar New Year travel period.

The train station and the airport in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, are shut down, and bus, ferry and subway service has been halted.

The open-ended lockdowns are unprecedented in size, embracing more people than the population of New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago combined.

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