RDU puts coronavirus plan in place as major airlines cancel flights between U.S., China

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh-Durham Airport officials said they have a response plan in place if any passengers show signs of the deadly coronavirus.

Raleigh-Durham Airport is not one of 20 airports nationwide that are screening passengers for signs of the virus, which has killed 213 people and infected more than 9,800 globally.

Friday, President Donald Trump's Coronavirus Task Force declared the virus a "public health emergency," one day after the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global emergency.

Three major airlines--United, Delta and American Airlines--have all suspended their flights between the U.S. and China. Delta Airlines, RDU's largest carrier, does not have any direct flights between RDU and China. However, the temporary suspension could affect connecting flights.

RDU said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Customs and Border Control will decide when, how and if RDU will begin screening passengers.

RELATED: Coronavirus: Delta, American Airlines, United temporarily suspend all flights to China amid outbreak concerns

While some travelers wore masks Friday morning, others, like Nelson Cotto, said they weren't worried.

"If it's going to happen, it's going to happen." Cotto said. "It's just something else to worry about. There's other things to worry about, you know?"

Since China told the World Health Organization about the new virus in December, at least 20 countries have reported cases. The United States confirmed one case of person-to-person transmission on Thursday.

RELATED: WHO declares global emergency over coronavirus from China
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