DFW Airport Is Screening For Coronavirus

DFW Coronavirus
Left to Right – Philip Huang MD, MPH, Director of Dallas County Health and Human Services; Fred Cerise MD, MPH, President and CEO of Parkland Hospital and Sam Baker, Morning Edition Host, KERA News speaking at a Health Disparity and Opportunities Event Thursday in Dallas.

DFW Coronavirus Screening

DALLAS – DFW Airport announced earlier this week it will be screening passengers who are coming from China. The screening will be done in order to detect symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus. The coronavirus has already been identified in Texas, however, the two possible cases on the Baylor and Texas A&M campus have come back negative according to sources. The health department in Texas has indicated there could be another case, but no details are being released.

At a Health Disparity and Opportunities event Thursday morning in Dallas led by Fred Cerise MD, MPH, President and CEO of Parkland Hospital and Philip Huang MD, MPH, Director of Dallas County Health and Human Services, Huang said “The risk is low.”

He did say that it is important to be proactive while the numbers are still low.
“It is a low risk to our community, we are working with partners to assess.”

DFW Airport is just one airport across the nation that will begin the screening according to airport officials.

There are actually 20 airports across the United States that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe should conduct this screening. US Vice President Mike Pence said earlier this week, these airports were selected since they handle roughly 90% of the passengers coming from China into the United States.

Airports Screening For Coronavirus

DFW Airport is number seven with the top five airports on the list already screening.

  1. Los Angeles International
  2. San Francisco International
  3. Chicago O’Hare
  4. New York JFK
  5. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International
  6. Houston George Bush Intercontinental
  7. Dallas-Fort Worth International
  8. San Diego International
  9. Seattle-Tacoma International
  10. Honolulu International
  11. Anchorage Ted Stevens International
  12. Minneapolis-St. Paul International
  13. Detroit Metropolitan
  14. Miami International
  15. Washington Dulles International
  16. Philadelphia International
  17. Newark Liberty International
  18. Boston Logan International
  19. El Paso International
  20. Puerto Rico’s San Juan Airport

American Airlines Only DFW Airline With Flights From China

With flu-like symptoms and five confirmed cases nationally, health officials are asking people to pay attention for symptoms for at least 14 days.

Additionally, over 100 people in 26 states were or are, currently being observed. Today, the CDC confirmed the first case of virus transmission from person to person in the US. They said a patient in Chicago contracted the coronavirus from his spouse, who had recently traveled to China.

While DFW Airport officials did not return calls by press time, it is safe to say that for travelers coming from Asia you might not even notice you are being screened. In Asia, where I travel quite often it requires walking through what looks like a security screening device that detects your temperature.

American Airlines is the only airline at DFW Airport that has flights to and from China including Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. Numbers change depending on the day but on average DFW has three routes a day from Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

World Health Organization Declares Public Health Emergency

Per the World Health Organization, there are now 98 cases in 18 countries outside China, including 8 cases of human-to-human transmission in four countries: Germany, Japan, Viet Nam and the United States of America. WHO says “there are now 7834 confirmed cases, including 7736 in China, representing almost 99% of all reported cases worldwide. To date there have been 170 deaths from this outbreak, all of them in China.

Since the Center for Disease Control has issued a strong travel warning against unnecessary travel to China, airlines are working with this new norm. In the US, some domestic carriers are allowing passengers with plans for travel to China to change plans with waived change fees in some cases until the end of next month.