LAS VEGAS (FOX5)-- While there are no state mandates to cancel large gatherings, businesses and organizers are taking it upon themselves to call off meetings, concerts and sports events.
While disappointing, we spoke to an expert at UNLV about how these decisions could play a huge role, slowing down the spread of the virus.
Experts call it ‘flattening the curve.’
“Right now, I think a lot of our actions are based on fear,” Dr. Francisco Sy said. Sy led the CDC’s efforts to stop the spread of SARS in the U.S.
“SARS started in 2002,” he said. “By July 2003, it was contained so in eight months we contained the epidemic.”
Sy is a big Golden Knights fan as well.
“We’re so used to we want to enjoy the event and it's so different to watch it on TV,” he said. So he understands how fans felt, hearing games would be suspended until further notice.
“For me, I think it's really sad because of the impact it's happening not only for the fans but also the tourism in Las Vegas,” Sy said. “I think there must be another way to do it rather than reacting with irrational fear.”
Dr. Sy said this many cancellations has never happened before. He explained it makes a lot of sense. If leaders can keep the number of cases low and spread out over time, rather than letting it spike, then the virus won’t overwhelm the valley’s health care system.
“We learned it from SARS, we learned it from Ebola,” Sy said.
But Dr. Sy said the most effective way to stop the spread is still just to practice good hygiene and isolate people who are contagious.
“Eventually, just like other epidemics this will eventually die out,” he said.
Dr. Sy added the nation is still at the start of this outbreak and took action early, so he believes things are manageable. He’s hopeful things can be contained in the next few months.