Coronavirus could impact travel to and from Charleston

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) –  The Coronavirus has been causing panic across the globe after 1,000 worldwide deaths and 11 deaths here in the U.S. So far, no cases of the disease have been confirmed in South Carolina, but as travel season draws near, worries are growing about an outbreak. Travel has been identified as one of the main ways that the virus has been spread.

College of Charleston has provisions of their own mandating that students self-isolate off campus for at least 14 days before returning to campus after traveling to an “at-risk” country. Dr. David Bundy, the Chief Quality Officer at MUSC explains why those travel warnings are put into place.

“The CDC is giving explicit advice to avoid those level three countries, so those are places like China, South Korea, Iran and Italy at the moment, and those recommendations effectively say to avoid non-essential travel to those areas.”

Dr. David Bundy, MUSC

Thursday morning, Dr. Linda Bell, the Chief of the Bureau of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control for DHEC, briefed the State Senate on what DHEC is doing to monitor travelers coming to and from South Carolina.

“61 travelers were assessed who did not require monitoring, 13 travelers without symptoms are currently being monitored, and then three travelers were transferred to another jurisdiction.” 

Dr. Linda Bell, DHEC

For those who are traveling to at-risk areas, beyond self-isolation, here in Charleston, hospitals are still waiting for the ability to test patients themselves to confirm if they have Coronavirus instead of sending samples out to other labs.

“MUSC will be testing here in the future, at present we are just collecting the samples here, and sending those to the Department of Health and Environmental Control for the actual execution of the test.”

Dr. David Bundy, MUSC

People are still much more likely to get the flu than the Coronavirus, and the flu has already claimed tens of thousands of American lives this season.

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