DFW AIRPORT — Fliers already have plenty to worry about: security, being on time, and making sure they've packed everything they need. Now, travelers have a new worry after their flights have landed.
The latest advisory at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport comes from the Centers for Disease Control. DFW is one of 22 U.S. airports to get the notice to beware of MERS — Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. It's a flu-like illness with no specific treatment or cure that has been traced to camels.
MERS has already killed more than 100 people worldwide and sickened hundreds more.
"It's good to be warned," said Afzal Rahman. "It's better to be safe than sorry."
Rahman saw his son off Tuesday afternoon at DFW, bound for Europe and North Africa. Even though his son is not headed to the Middle East — which is the MERS hotspot — Rahman worries about his son being on a long trip in a plane packed with passengers.
"Who knows what they're catching?" he said.
"It's a small world after all," said Christopher Perkins, medical director for Dallas County Health and Human Services. He has been monitoring advisories and said there's no cause for alarm, but that there is certainly cause for awareness — especially for those headed to the Middle East or in places where many people may be arriving from that part of the world.
"We have a lot of people coming into our region from all over the world," Perkins said. "We have to constantly monitor where they have been, what's in that area, and what could potentially be brought back to North Texas."
We didn't spot any of the CDC notices about MERS at DFW Airport on Tuesday, but they were due to be deployed.
Officials at Love Field said they would also contact the CDC to see if that airport should post the notice as well, even though Love Field was not included in the list of airports targeted by the CDC.