CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Right now – more than a dozen people have died from “Coronavirus.” One person died in the United States - reported Tuesday in Washington state. The virus originates in animals in Wuhan China, but has now spread to hundreds of people.
“We should always be concerned. Especially when we’re dealing with novel viruses,” Piedmont Medical Center infectious disease specialist Dr. Arash Poursina said.
Dr. Poursina said coronavirus has been found in animals, but never in humans until now. “The body’s immunity is quite naive when it comes to combating it,” he said.
WBTV asked airport officials in Charlotte whether they’re considering screening travelers.
“CBP has measures already in place to identify travelers with overt signs of illness,” a spokesperson for Customs and Border Patrol said.
On top of that, the CDC is screening travelers specifically for Coronavirus at major airports: JFK, San Francisco and Los Angeles International Airports. Starting Wednesday, screening began at in Chicago and Atlanta.
“It’s nice to see that they’re taking everybody’s health into consideration when they’re traveling,” one traveler said.
Dr. Poursina says travelers heading to Wuhan should also take precautions.
“Please avoid going to places where there are animals kept, marketplaces, meat markets, avoid dead or alive animals as much as possible,” he said.
He says if you experience symptoms, see a doctor. “Worsening shortening of breath, chest discomfort, a cough.”
Dr. Poursina also says right now the virus is not being transmitted between humans at a high rate, which is why we should be cautious but not panicking.