As reported by Fox 5 and other outlets, a Korean flight attendant has reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus after servicing a flight to and from Los Angeles International Airport. This was on February 19 and 20, near the middle of last last week. While we have yet to see additional cases from contact with the flight attendant, it’s still possible that the disease was transmitted to others.
LAX is currently disinfecting areas of the airport on an hourly basis. Points of entry are the main focus. However, given that the flight attendant likely had personal contact with a number of people, we can;t rule out that they transmitted the disease. They certainly overnighted at an LAX airport hotel. The airport is taking all possible precautions to prevent LAX becoming the next outbreak.
The incubation period of the coronavirus is awfully long; estimates vary between 2 and 14 days. There have also been a number of people who were asymptomatic after contracting the virus, heightening the likelihood that it will continue to spread widely.
Should You Be Worried About Coronavirus?
The U.S. has so far been spared a true coronavirus outbreak, but it’s almost certain that we will eventually experience what China, Korea, and Italy are dealing with. Some have theorized that due to the nature of this disease and the outbreak, most people in the world are likely to eventually contract coronavirus. Sound scary? It certainly is. The disease has a far higher mortality rate than influenza and other common viruses.
However, the vast majority of healthy people who contract the disease will recover. If you’re younger than 60 and relatively healthy, the disease, while bad, does not pose an undue risk. The real risk is to those who are immuno-compromised, are elderly, or have other ailments or health conditions. This is who I am most worried for in the event of an outbreak.
I currently have travel planned to Europe next month, and East Asia in the fall. Currently, I’m not planning to change any of my plans or bookings. But I will be taking precautions and might reconsider travel should things worsen.
We’ll see how America handles the coronavirus. A U.S. epidemic is likely inevitable. Unless airlines shut down to near zero travel, I’d expect the virus to quickly sweep the country.
H/T: Fox 5 News