Logan Airport to begin screening for coronavirus, UMass Amherst suspends study abroad program


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The deadly coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world and it’s causing some concerns in western Massachusetts. 

Although there are no cases of the coronavirus in western Massachusetts, UMass Amherst is taking precautions and has suspended their study abroad program in China. 

The deadly coronavirus is spreading across the world rapidly. Health officials saying more than 100 deaths so far in China. Five cases have also been confirmed in the U.S.  

Coronavirus is a severe respiratory virus that most likely originated from an animal source… but now seems to be spreading from person-to-person. The CDC says it’s unclear just how easily it’s spreading between people. 

“It causes an overwhelming respiratory infection and there’s no treatment for it,” said Dr. Ira Helfand at the Family Medical Center. “There’s no specific antiviral against this virus nothing has been developed yet. We just discovered this virus in the last few weeks.” 

Although the cases are thousands of miles away from western Massachusetts steps are still being taken to prevent an outbreak. UMass Amherst’s International Programs Office decided to suspend its Spring 2020 program in China. 

In a statement to 22News UMass Amherst said in part:  

This impacts seven students who will be offered other programs abroad or the option to stay on the Amherst campus this semester. The students were set to study in Shanghai and Beijing. 

The college also said they have two graduate students and two faculty members traveling in China right now none of them have reported symptoms so far. 

Dr. Helfand added, “No one should be calling their doctor asking if they have the coronavirus here in western Massachusetts. But several weeks from now that may change.” 

Logan Airport announced Tuesday night they will now be screening passengers for the coronavirus. They are one of 20 airports across the country to do so. 

Find a list of locations of confirmed cases of the virus here.

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