Coronavirus sparks concern in Houston after CDC issues strong warning

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus, which is also known as COVID-19, continues to spark concern across southeast Texas.

Many academic institutions and businesses have halted travel to Asia as a precaution.

Dr. Peter Li, who left China more than 30 years ago, works as a professor for the University of Houston - Downtown. He told ABC13 he was in the process of planning the China Animal Law Conference.

The program, which is usually held in June, brings together American and Chinese law professors and scholars. The program was recently rescheduled to November, but it may get cancelled due to logistics, health, and safety concerns.

"Yes, I'm nervous because of the tremendous impact on human life and economic impact," said Dr. Li. "The entire university system has been recommended that we should stay away from trips to China until further notice."

Shayla Northcutt, operator of Northcutt Travel Agency in Houston, told ABC13 people are still planning overseas trips. She said some are a little more cautious of where they're visiting because of the headline-grabbing nature of COVID-19.

"Italy was super popular last year. We sent a ton of people to Italy. Right now, they're like 'What about Germany, Italy, or Spain,'" Northcutt said. "We have had a couple of cancellations from people, mainly because they had a lot of elderly people, 80 plus. They were concerned about getting sick."

Northcutt said people should still plan trips for the future and buy trip insurance just in case.

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