Three U.S. Airports to Check Passengers for a Deadly Chinese Coronavirus

Passengers from Wuhan, China, will be screened at J.F.K. beginning Friday night, and in San Francisco and Los Angeles starting on Saturday.

Comments: 46

  1. If there are screening at three airports the severity of the threat is worse than is being reported. It is curious that so many of these viruses present from China. The article does not tell us if anything is being done in China to stop the virus from traveling.

  2. @Wanda China is a constant source of infectious diseases that spread around the world, including those transmitted from animals. this is common, just this one is particularly severe. And a lot has been written about the Chinese government's failure to respond openly.

  3. @Wanda I read another article today about this virus. The fish markets where the virus started have been shuttered down and many people are wearing face masks. I was surprised at that time that something wasn’t being done here in USA, as we have so much business and family travel to China.

  4. @Wanda I was going to comment about the same thing: why do these viruses always start in China? I'm guessing lackadaisical regulation and sanitation.

  5. My son is currently living in Japan, teaching English. He suffers from chronic asthma, and catches things easily. It frightens me terribly that this article does not address how they are addressing this virus globally. I would like to see a follow up article addressing how authorities in other countries are handling this, as it could easily become a global epidemic. I'll be flying to Japan in two months.

  6. @Sallie from San Juan Island, Washington. A global epidemic or pandemic has not yet been declared as cases right now are restricted to the Wuhan province in China. That said watch for travel advisories on the CDC website and state Department website. Japan will also start being careful about restricting the spread and there should soon be a WHO guidelines for preventing the spread. Spread of viruses transmitted to the respiratory tract can spread faster and the common precautions like hand washing and appropriate masks would be advisable.

  7. Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses with a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome and with a nucleocapsid of helical symmetry. There is no confirmed treatment that works for every person who has SARS. Antiviral medications and steroids are sometimes given to reduce lung swelling, but is not effective for everyone. Supplemental oxygen or a ventilator may be prescribed if necessary. Chinese carona virus is most likely to be similar to the SARS virus in appearance and likely to be neutralized by broad spectrum enveloped virus neutralizing compounds that are present in grocery stores available 100% pomegranate juice. Along with avoiding visit to Wuhan, China, frequent hand washing, wearing of a mask with an ULPA filter (ordinary masks will not trap viruses), a dash to the primary care or immediate care physician, daily drinking of a liter of pomegranate juice could be start if first symptoms are suspected. The CDC should be promptly informed so that the tracking of the spread is possible. If the history of SARS is any indications of how the Chinese Coronavirus could spread quickly by air travel, it is very appropriate that the 3 US airports will screen passengers and quarantine them for observation and further action.

  8. @Girish Kotwal WOW! this is why i am a subscriber. thanks for the insight and peace to you.

  9. @Girish Kotwal What are the "first symptoms" to watch for?

  10. @Girish Kotwal Huh?? Are you kidding me? Evidence regarding pomegranate juice?

  11. So they are going to rely in part on the honesty of visitors coming off a plane into a strange (possibly) country to fill in a form about whether they have been in a contagious area. Right. The citizens of China trust American regulators because they so trust their own back in China... Let's hope that the authorities trying to do a focused sample testing, also test a second large control group; people who are not showing signs of a fever and who have reported that they have not visited these designated areas. See how many are infected. That will give them an important guide to how their actual screening parameters are working with this 60,000 person cohort and currently a less than 10% screening. The confines of our crowded air transport system including airports and airplanes will some day be the corridor for spreading the next great plague. Not sure how this can be changed but this "mysterious respiratory virus" will give the authorities yet another dry run to check their own abilities... Human nature being what it is, every fictional plague horror film starts with someone not being truthful about how they are feeling...

  12. The screening procedure sounds lame and ineffective. People can lie on questionnaires. They will certainly be afraid when pulled out to be questioned. If they've been on a plane with unaffected persons, what's to keep the virus from having spread during that time? The only way to stop this is to prevent flights from even landing in the US. We're all at risk. This is not to be taken lightly.

  13. We saw this script already. It was called Contagion (2011). This seems a really haphazard way to contain a virus. Relying on the honestly of passengers and only three airports screening. What if someone from Wuhan flew to (for example) London first, then here. How can this possibly be tracked?

  14. @denise I don't know about you, but this news does indeed prickle the hairs on the back of my neck that alert me about epidemics...

  15. the questionnaire..if someone thinks they are carrying the virus would they admit to it? the temperature EVERYONE with a temp going to a hospital? viral infections often begin with NO symptoms..but good try anyway. i hope it prevents some at least.

  16. What are the symptoms CDC should declare those as well. Why do the test kits are not made public ? There should be some thought and effort towards that as well

  17. The airport screening is extremely important, given that we're a week away from Chinese New Year and the busiest travel season of the year in ethnic Chinese communities. If this virus can be passed between people its global spread is certain. Let's hope that the spread of the virus has already been contained by the closing of the market.

  18. This has been going for more than a month and most Asian cities had been strict with screening passengers coming from this city. Schools were closed and people in quarantine in Hong Kong. It’s a weaker SARS-related virus, but these viruses do mutate & that’s what we have to watch out.

  19. Wild and scary to think that one can fly from anywhere in China to New York non-stop. A truly deadly virus, i.e. something worse and faster acting than Ebola, would run rampant across the world due to air travel, especially air travel that can span half the globe in a day.

  20. @brooklyndoggeek Who says they start in China? It’s densely populated and they are, or least historically have been, highly secretive about any vulnerabilities. So things “coming from there” seem sudden etc. But that’s not sound logic. Also- we are in a “trade war” with china and any finger pointing at them is highly politically advantageous. We don’t rely on Africa for trade so much therefore-no headlines screaming that they started the latest polio outbreak. I don’t trust this any more than I trust having to get shots to travel to certain African nations. We will never know what is behind these headlines but after reading 10 years after the fact that China had a horrific earthquake they told nobody about- I don’t trust this kind of thing.

  21. Sigh. I always travel Cathay, no matter where I go in China, so we come through Hong Kong to Newark (EWR). Flights are always 3/4 people from mainland, so they'll miss all of those, once a day.

  22. Test anyone boarding in that part of China

  23. Once again, a virus from China kills people in other countries and China does nothing to screen outgoing travelers. With its great prosperity and enormous population comes responsibility. No country is free from fault, but China needs a powerful CDC equivalent.

  24. Protecting North America from the swine virus that has devastated Asian food production should be a priority for "airport screenings".

  25. All the more reason to stop eating animals!

  26. Wouldn't it make more sense to check people before boarding the plane. Personally, I have caught many a virus on airplanes due to the close quarters.

  27. Lisa, nearly every time i fly, I catch a cold or flu bug. Somebody at the other end of the plane has a cold, they cough, and the germs are circulated throughout the plane by the ventilation system, and every passenger gets the ailment. Maybe we all should wear masks until the technology catches up?

  28. Severance by Ling Ma, anyone?

  29. Common sense....wash your hands after you come in from any public venue. Any. Don’t touch your eyes, mouth or nose until you wash your hands.

  30. 1. How are they going to discern rare coronavirus from common influenza, with the same symptoms? 2. What are they going to do with the people they "catch"? Send them to the hospital? Put them on a plane full of people and send them back? Force them to sit in some airport waiting room until they are done being sick with the flu? How would you like to have to sit in an airport waiting room when you have the flu? How would you like to share an airplane with someone sent back to China for having the flu - let alone coronavirus? 3. If they don't even think coronavirus can be transmitted between people, why this stupidity? Most doctors won't even try to tell viruses apart. I don't know how many times I've been to the ER with everything from the flu to appendicitis, and sent home and told I have "some virus" and there are eight million viruses in the naked city. So how are these idiots supposed to diagnose coronavirus? Huh? Huh? Huh?

  31. What an astonishingly stupid move! Yes, announce this moronic plan and people flying from China will simply change their flights and fly to Denver, or Dallas, or Boston. Yeah, great idea, yet one more buffoonish move by this administration.

  32. @Rob Kaufman : I agree that our white house is currently inhabited by a buffoon. But isn't the problem that we aren't screening *all* arrivals from China? The issue isn't their destination but where they came from.

  33. Another reason why all this wanton air travel is bad for the humans that inhabit the planet. Not only are the carbon emissions from flying contributing to the demise of a human-life-sustaining planet, they're also helping to spread diseases that would've otherwise remained local. Sadly, even people who don't fly can be exposed to these diseases by travelers. Though really, those who are on the plane for hours and hours with all that circulating air are at more risk. If you need another reason not to fly, here it is.

  34. This is not unique. During the SARS epidemic, everyone entering Honk Kong were screened by a questionnaire and temperature scanning as they went through the airport. I'm pretty sure other airports there that had international travel, did the same thing. It makes since.

  35. When we complain about FDA and USDA regulations and costs; when we complain about interference of government into business; when we complain about how regulations stall the market and inhibit enterprise - can we at least be aware that it also prevents people from selling meat in open markets that exposes a nation to a new and deadly virus? If we want to see how a nation with minimal safety and health regulation works, look to China. China has brought coronaviruses into the human sphere twice recently. The last time it was from selling civets for food. In Africa, the butchering of primates for bushmeat was considered the source of AIDS. Regulated and inspected food markets serve a purpose. Wouldn't it be great if our Administration recognized that rather than underfunding the USDA, moving the jobs to Kansas City to encourage headcount cuts? I'd really rather not set up China as our inspiration.

  36. Funny, I was reading this article to my wife and asked:"Why do all these viruses start in China?" I had the same opinion as you...unregulated food production, corrupt inspectors, and different attitudes towards what constitutes safe and sanitary use of animals. You hit the nail right on the head.

  37. There are scores of millions of Americans who would ignore symptoms of this disease and go to school or work because they can't afford to seek medical care. If this disease is easily transmitted, that kind of behavior will put us all ar risk. This is why we need universal medical coverage. It's like the herd immunity we get from vaccines. Your medical coverage reduces the chance that I'll be exposed to a disease, and vice versa.

  38. @writeon1 yes, United States healthcare is abominable. But can’t complain when it comes to this country’s stringent public health safety measures. When’s the last serious global public health scare we have had start here...SARs? Can’t even remember anything that’s happened organically ... and I was born in 1990.

  39. @writeon1 There are vaccine deniers who don't care enough about any medical precautions who would not go to the doctor as well.

  40. There's little chance of containing this to China, especially with global travel AND Chinese Lunar New Year around the corner.

  41. I read the posts below, and I compare the times to that of 540 AD, when grain shipments coming up the Nile went through Alexandria unchecked, and went to Constantinople and to Rome, bearing the rats that carried yersinia pestis and the fleas that would transmit it to humans in their tens of thousands. And the Western world nearly collapsed from what was called Justinian's Plague, the first European invasion of what, 800 years later, would be called the Black Death. We're lucky today to be a little more together, a little more organized, a little better prepared to deal with a new infectious disease. You people don't know how lucky you are.

  42. According to reports, one of the men who contracted the illness had gone to the Wuhan market to buy "meat." Another sick man sold "pork" in the market. Has China considered the possibility that the Wuhan coronavirus is a problem in pigs already infected with African Swine Fever which is currently decimating the herds in China? One other question. What will cities like NYC do with the passengers on flights in which they identify someone with Wuhan Pneumonia? Will they be quarantined? Told to go home and call if they feel sick?

  43. Article mentions meat & seafood in Wulan ... Does anyone know the type of meat involved in the transmission, i.e., chicken, beef, dog, cat etc?

  44. What's to stop someone that traveled through Wuhan, and then flew out of another city? Seems that China struggles with these outbreaks far too often due to lack of safe food/animal handling.