Florida Coronavirus Patient Says CDC Cleared Her to Take Domestic Flight Despite Showing Flu-Like Symptoms: ‘No One Sounded Prepared’

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A Florida woman with the new coronavirus has criticised the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), claiming she was allowed to board a domestic flight despite warning the agency she had come down with flu-like symptoms after visiting a COVID-19 hotspot in Europe.

The 29-year-old woman from Hillsborough County who wanted to remain anonymous told Fox 13 she had recently traveled with a companion to Milan, in northern Italy’s Lombardy region.

The virus has spread rapidly there in recent weeks, as indicated in the Statista map below, prompting the U.S. Department of State on Saturday to advise against all nonessential travel to Italy and warn people not to go to Lombardy at all.

coronavirus, covid-19, cases, map, world
A Statista graphic shows the spread of the new coronavirus around the world as of early March 3, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Statista

In the last few days of the trip, the woman started to feel unwell. About a week ago, the pair flew from Italy to New York, to catch a connecting flight to Tampa, Florida.

She claimed she called the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when she landed in New York to notify them she had flown to Italy and had flu-like symptoms, including a fever, a deep upper respiratory cough, and was bringing up mucus.

She was told she wasn’t a travel risk and was cleared to fly. When she landed in Tampa she was tested for COVID-19. It was not clear which New York airport she travelled from.

“No one sounded prepared. No one at the CDC sounded prepared or educated on what was going on. When talking about an outbreak in Milan, Italy, I think they should know what part of the country that’s in,” the woman told Fox 13.

She said: “I 1,000 percent had symptoms when I landed in the states. I don’t blame Tampa. We were coming in from another domestic flight.”