HOUSTON – While the coronavirus has not yet reached Houston, local airport officials are not taking any potential risks when it comes to the deadly disease.
According to Dr. David Persse, the local health authority for the Houston Health Department, the illness manifests with cold or flu-like symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty breathing. At least 17 people have died from the virus and there have been over 500 cases in China.
In China, the city of Wuhan – where the virus is believed to have originated – has been quarantined along with two other cities. All passengers coming from Wuhan have been rerouted to New York’s Kennedy airport, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago’s O’Hare airport and Atlanta in order to be screened for the illness.
Houston airport officials said they do not expect to be added to that list because there are no direct flights from Wuhan. However, they are still taking precautions to warn travelers about the illness.
A flyer warning people about the coronavirus will be posted at the check-in counters for all direct flights to China, according to a tweet. A later tweet said that the Transportation Security Administration will post the flyer at all security checkpoints, as well.
The flyer warns people of what they should not do if traveling to Wuhan, including visiting animal markets, touch animals or animal products or being near sick people.
If a person gets sick while in Wuhan or within two weeks of returning, travelers are urged to contact a doctor and tell them you have been in Wuhan.
The airport is also advising people to not travel while sick.