MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Five cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the US as some airports have begun to screen arriving passengers from China.
Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport do not have such screenings. With so many people traveling to South Florida this week for Super Bowl LIV, some have expressed concern.
Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert at Florida International University, said the coronavirus manifests as respiratory illness and spreads fairly easily from person to person.
“Hopefully, it has nothing to do with the Super Bowl. But in all mass gatherings, like the Super Bowl, we worry when people come together in large numbers and there’s a contagious disease on the planet.”
Mass gatherings in China have been canceled because of this virus. At ground zero in Wuhan, an army of construction workers is in a frantic race to now build not one, but two, hospitals to treat over two thousand people infected with the coronavirus.
More than a dozen surrounding cities and towns, with an estimated 50 million people, are now on some kind total or partial transport lockdown. Nearly all departing passengers from Wuhan wearing masks.
“It’s very important for all governments in the world to worry about people who come from areas of China where this is being transmitted,” said Marty.
While Marty said it has not been called an international health concern, which new cases confirmed each day, that could change.
“Although it is an emergency in China, it’s not yet an international emergency. It’s very likely that WHO will reconvene in the very near future to decide if it is now a public health emergency of international concern,” said Marty.
Marty said while it may not be a concern in Miami for the big game and all the festivities surrounding it, you would be wise to follow some common-sense rules. Wash your hands often if you are out and about and if you touch things that many other people have touched, don’t touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.