As leaders with the World Health Organization meet Thursday to decide whether to declare a global health emergency over the outbreak of the new coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is launching a new public awareness campaign.
SFO Spokesperson Doug Yakel said the new warnings are posted inside of customs, where the CDC is currently conducting screenings for the coronavirus for any passengers arriving from Wuhan, China, the area is believed to be ground zero for the mysterious virus.
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Last Saturday, SFO became one of three airports screening passengers for the virus, along with LAX in Los Angeles and JFK in New York City.
The signs posted both English and Chinese, warn travelers to call a doctor right away if they feel sick with fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing up to two weeks after returning from Wuhan.
NEW: Here’s a look at the new CDC coronavirus warnings posted at customs in @flySFO and 13 airports across the country. Notices are in English & Chinese. @abc7newsbayarea (RT’d with correction) pic.twitter.com/tSp9tmE1HB— Julian Glover (@JulianGABC7) January 23, 2020
A number of passengers, particularly in the International Terminal, were wearing protective face masks.
"It's better to keep yourself safe. It's better to wear the mask since this is a public area," said Angel Wu while speaking through a blue-tinted mask. She was waiting for her parents to arrive from Shanghai.
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Others spotted wearing a mask are more worried about a different virus.
"I'm worried about the flu. There are so many people walking around," said Evelyn Li "That's why I'm wearing a mask."
Tom Owen was waiting for his daughter to arrive from Tokyo. He said he wasn't alarmed by the number of people wearing masks, but instead wondered what more could be done by the airport.
"It got me thinking as I'm standing here, what the airport structure would be doing about it, what the airlines would be doing about it" said Owen.
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He questioned whether there could be additional air filtration or treatment to protect those walking about the terminals.
Still, there is so much uncertainty about the virus, exactly how it originated, and why it appears to be spreading so quickly.