Latest Infectious Disease News
With more than 150,000 visitors to Miami expected over Super Bowl weekend, what are the plans to prevent the newly discovered Wuhan coronavirus from entering Florida and spreading among football fans?
Although no cases of Wuhan coronavirus have been confirmed in Florida, health officials aren't taking any chances. Along with 19 other U.S. airports, the Miami International Airport has activated its CDC quarantine station with plans to screen each passenger for the potentially deadly disease.
The urgency has grown following the CDC's Thursday announcement that an Illinois resident contracted the disease without visiting the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, China. This confirmed for U.S. health officials the virus' capacity to spread from human to human. Documenting this ability is important because it increases the likelihood the epidemic could gain a foothold in the U.S.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis weighed in on the topic at a Monday press conference.
"We don't have any positive tests yet but obviously more people coming from different areas," he said, according to ABC affiliate WFTS-TV. "Everybody to this date who has been tested has come back negative."
What Do We Know About Wuhan Coronavirus?
Wuhan coronavirus is a recently discovered pathogen causing serious respiratory problems in Wuhan, China, according to MedicineNet author Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD. As a coronavirus, it is related to other diseases of the same class, including SARS and MERS.
People who contract Wuhan coronavirus may experience mild or severe symptoms, Dr. Davis said. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath so severe it often requires hospitalization. In the most serious cases, complications can develop such as pneumonia, high fever, organ failure, and death.
According to Dr. Davis, people are most at risk who visited Wuhan, China recently or other nearby cities. People who live in close contact with a contagious person are also at risk, particularly anyone exposed to the sneezes or coughs of a sick person.
To avoid Wuhan coronavirus, the CDC offers these tips:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.