How concerned should we be in Alabama about the coronavirus?

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -- Health officials in Alabama continue to keep a close eye on the coronavirus and how it is spreading in China, the world and in the United States.

There have only been a handful of cases actually reported in the United States, but anyone who comes into an international airport from China is a potential carrier for the coronavirus.

Currently, China is limiting travel out of that country especially the Wuhan region. This area has been hit hard by the virus. It is also where most of the deaths are occurring.

The Center for Disease Control is working with some of the major airports in the United States. This includes the Atlanta airport.

The Director of the Infectious Disease Department with the Jefferson County Health Department, Dr. Wesley Willeford, they are keeping a close eye on what is happening with the coronavirus because a lot of people come from Atlanta to Alabama.

"People coming in on the plane are given a questionnaire as they go through customs,” says Dr. Wesley Willeford. “If they cough and look like they are sick they have their temperature taken and have further evaluation."

Dr. Willeford says he is more concerned about the flu. Six thousand people have died in the US. Authorities want you to get your flu shot. If you come down with the flu that compromises your health, and if you are exposed to the coronavirus it will only make it worse and threaten your life.

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