Health Officials Determining if Sick Traveler at LAX Has Coronavirus

Ameera Butt
January 23, 2020 - 3:32 pm
KNX 1070

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Health officials are trying to determine whether a sick passenger who flew into LAX Wednesday has the deadly coronavirus or the flu.

The coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has so far killed 17 people and sickened hundreds of others.

A sick traveler on a flight from Mexico City was taken to the hospital Wednesday night.

The first case in the U.S. was in Washington state on Jan 21. 

Here are some tips to stay healthy while flying.

Chinese officials have moved to close off three cities in addition to Wuhan including Huanggang and Ezhou.

Other cases have been reported in Japan, Singapore,  South Korea and Thailand. 

Here in LA County,  the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a press release that coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning that they cause infections that usually exist exclusively in animals but can be transmitted to humans. However, some coronaviruses are also able to be transmitted from person to person, like SARS and MERS, while others are not.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. 

The department said people who have traveled to Wuhan, China since December 1, 2019, could have been exposed to the virus. Seek medical care if you traveled to Wuhan and develop a fever and fever or respiratory symptoms within 14 days of your return. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the risk to the American public of getting the mystery bug is low.

Dr. James Cherry, with UCLA's School of Medicine, likens the virus to SARS and says no one ever contracted the illness from a plane.