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Student returns home early from studying abroad after coronavirus outbreak

Updated: January 29, 2020 07:37 AM

As coronavirus started to spread in China, Zoe Feldshon, daughter of KSTP Medical Expert Dr. Archelle Georgiou, left her Beijing study abroad program early. She landed in Minnesota with a stack of face masks as souvenirs.

“Everything was shutting down. I couldn't go to school. I couldn't get groceries. It was a mess,” Feldshon said.

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The coronavirus outbreak began in the city of Wuhan, about 700 miles away from Feldshon’s exchange program in Beijing. Her host family wasn't worried at first.

“He was like, ‘You know, it's fine. Just don't go to huge populated places, just to stay safe,’” she said.

But when the outbreak started to grow, things took a turn. The streets were deserted.

“No one was outside,” Fledschon said. “It was just quiet. The streets were dead. The buses were dead. Everything was dead.” 

US beefs up screening of travelers for new virus from China, including at MSP

Now 20 airports around the U.S. are screening for coronavirus as passengers enter the country. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is on the list.

“And that's what we're going to be doing here, identifying ill travelers from China, so that we can make sure that they are appropriately treated so that they don't pass on this illness to others,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). 

Feldshon was screened during her layover in Seattle.

“They just said, ‘Have you been to Wuhan?’ No. ‘Are you sick?’ No. Welcome back to America!” Feldshon said. “Whereas in China, you go somewhere, you get temperature screened. You're constantly being watched.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending anyone who is experiencing a fever, cough or trouble breathing to contact their primary care provider right away.

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Crystal Bui

Copyright 2020 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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