Coronavirus Monitoring: Honolulu Among 20 Airports in US with CDC Quarantine Station

January 28, 2020, 11:47 AM HST · Updated January 28, 1:27 PM
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The state Department of Transportation is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Hawaiʻi Department of Health in monitoring for the Coronavirus amid the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in China.

The department reports that the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu is among 20 airports in the US with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quarantine station, and is already enforcing foreign quarantine regulations.

“HDOTA follows the direction of the CDC regarding additional screening practices at any of the airports in the state,” said Tim Sakahara, public information officer with the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation.

In an email communication with Maui Now, Sakahara said, “The CDC initially announced screening at San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX) and New York (JFK) and has added Atlanta (ATL) and Chicago (ORD) to the list,” noting that there are no direct flights from Wuhan, China to Hawaiʻi. “HDOTA will continue to monitor communication and developments with the CDC regarding the evolving situation,” he said.

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The outbreak first started in Wuhan, China, but the CDC notes that cases have been identified in a growing number of other international locations, including the US.

As of Jan. 27, 2020, the CDC reports that there are five individuals who have tested positive in the US. States with confirmed cases in the US are: Washington, California, Arizona and Illinois.

There are currently 26 states in the US where testing is underway for people under investigation, with 73 cases pending review. This includes specimens received and awaiting testing as well as specimens en route to the CDC.

Locations across the globe with Confirmed 2019-nCoV Cases so far include: China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, The Republic of Korea, United States and Vietnam.

The Hawai‘i Department of Health issued an advisory to physicians statewide to be alert for patients who have travelled from Wuhan City, Hubei Province in China.  The department sent out a detailed medical advisory to healthcare providers last week on reporting, testing, specimen collection, and interim healthcare infection control recommendations for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

Reported illnesses have ranged from infected people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying, according to the CDC. Symptoms can include: fever, cough and shortness of breath.  CDC believes at this time that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The CDC recommends that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the following:

  • 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, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

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