BOSTON, Mass. (WHDH) — A sick passenger was evaluated at Logan International Airport Wednesday afternoon after arriving from Beijing, China, emergency officials said.
The passenger refused transportation to the hospital and according to Boston EMS, they did not meet the criteria for coronavirus.
Originally, the Massachusetts Port Authority reported that that passenger was transported to a local hospital but that was not the case.
The incident came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded screening to 20 airports across the country Tuesday, focusing on international travelers and looking out for symptoms of coronavirus including fever, coughing and shortness of breath.
The CDC sent extra staff to what they call “quarantine stations” to screen arrivals.
“Our regular activities at quarantine stations focus on identifying ill patients. And that’s what we’re going to be doing here — identifying ill passengers returning from China so that we can make sure they’re appropriately treated, so that they don’t pass on this illness to others,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
The screenings come as increased fatalities from the disease have been reported in China, where more than 100 people have died and about 6,000 cases have been confirmed.
The United States has seen five confirmed cases; however, Gov. Charles D. Baker says the coronavirus risk in Massachusetts remains low.
“We obviously have been in regular contact with the CDC and with the folks in our Department of Public Health, and we’ll continue to be,” Baker said. “At this point in time, the threat level here remains low.”
Due to a lack of treatment options, health officials say prevention is key.
One traveler said he purchased a surgical mask to protect himself from germs on his journey.
“A lot of people were wearing this mask and so I decided to buy one and I said, ‘OK, it’s better safe than sorry,” he explained.
Airport screenings were initially done in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Atlanta. That has been expanded to Anchorage, Alaska; Boston; Dallas; Detroit; El Paso, Texas; Honolulu; Houston, Miami, Minneapolis; Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia; San Diego; Seattle; Washington, D.C. (Dulles); and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
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