The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have raised concerns about a possible pandemic epidemic in the United States for coronavirus, which has infected over 800,000 people and killed at least 2,700 worldwide.
According to the agency, only 14 cases of illness have been confirmed in the United States, none of which were in Florida.
However, they are asking the public to prepare.
“We are asking the American public to work with us to prepare for the expectation that this will be negative,” a senior CDC official told reporters in a conference call.
So if the disease reaches South Florida, what do local officials expect to do?
HEALTH AGENCIES AND MEDICAL SUPPLIERS
The Florida Department of Health says health care providers are following the strict guidelines of the CDC.
Patients who have a fever, signs of “lower respiratory disease” and have traveled to China in the past two weeks should be tested for the disease. The CDC has specific test kits for coronavirus, but health officials were unable to confirm whether Florida was one of the few states that received them.
Patients diagnosed will be asked to wear a surgical mask and be evaluated in a private room.
Nearly 10 million international passengers arrive at Miami International Airport each year – 2.3 million via Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
MIA claims not to provide projections for coronavirus to anyone who does not come from China.
They say that Americans flying to the United States from China will be diverted to the following airports:
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
- San Francisco International Airport (OFS), California
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington
- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
- Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California
- Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL), Georgia
- Dallas / Ft. Of value
- Washington Dulles
MIA is also among the 20 U.S. airports that are working with the CDC to strengthen travelers’ projections. The jurisdiction of MIA includes the Bahamas and Aruba, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.
Miami-Dade public school superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced the district plan if coronaviruses were detected in the area.
In order to reduce direct contact between students, the superintendent says that schools will benefit from digital or “tele-education” lessons.
However, electronic lessons are a last resort if a school is to be closed.
Education of the disease will increase for school reasons and electronic services will be installed that will connect school clinics with doctors for instant information.
Carvalho also said that if necessary, alternative layoff times will be implemented, increasing school cleaning cycles.
Florida International University has announced that it would restrict access to students and faculty while canceling study abroad programs to nations dealing with the medical crisis. All trips to Italy, Japan, Singapore and South Korea are limited.
At the same time, the school is asking anyone who has visited countries – as well as China, where thousands have died in the past few weeks from the virus – or have had contact with anyone who has visited to remain in quarantine for 14 days even if they they do not have any symptoms.
Miami-Dade public schools were forced to cancel two trips abroad, including one trip to Italy.
The University of Miami has also canceled overseas study programs in China amid concerns.
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