SAN FRANCISCO - The city of San Francisco has activated its emergency operations center, preparing for the possibility of a potentially deadly coronavirus outbreak.
There are no reported cases, but Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital is on standby, with isolation rooms prepared for coronavirus patients if needed.
The potentially deadly Wuhan coronavirus already has a toehold in China, and now public health, aviation, and government officials in San Francisco are working to make sure that virus doesn't spread here.
"It's important to recognize that there are no known cases in San Francisco at this time," said San Francisco Health Officer, Dr. Tomás Aragón. "We are actively preparing for the possibility of confirmed cases."
San Francisco is taking no chances, and has activated its emergency operations center to track any possible cases and react quickly.
"We will be broadcasting in partnership with the Department of Public Health public health information about how to prevent the spread of the virus, and what to do to stay healthy during flu season." said Mary Ellen Carroll from San Francisco Department of Emergency Management.
Doctors say Wuhan coronavirus may look a lot like the flu.
Public health experts say the patient's travel history, including any recent trips to China, may be the key to telling the difference.
"We won't be able to tell just by the symptoms," said Dr. Aragón. "That's why the history of where that person has been is the most important factor."
San Francisco International Airport says all outbound air traffic out of Wuhan has been canceled. The airport is also addressing the report that the State Department had planned to land a plane with personnel who has worked in Wuhan here in the Bay Area Tuesday. "The latest information that we have is that flight will arrive to the US via Anchorage and then it will make its way to Ontario California," said Ivar Satero from the airport.
San Francisco authorities say they are in communication with state health officials and the Centers for Disease Control to monitor developments in the progression of coronavirus.