LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Chinatown business owners are feeling the economic impact of the Coronavirus, as it continues to spread across the globe.
The parking lot at Chinatown Mall was emptier than usual Tuesday afternoon and inside only a handful of shoppers were browsing.
Business owners say shopper's fears about the Coronavirus are to blame.
“I think they are a little bit concerned about the Coronavirus. More than usual, said Dixon Hong who owns Dynasty gift shop.
The main restaurant inside Chinatown Mall was nearly empty at lunch time as people wearing masks walked by.
“Business has really slowed down. Not much people are coming to Chinatown,” said travel agent Iris Zhang.
Zhang may be seeing the worst of it, as travel to and from China has reached a standstill.
“The travel agency, the restaurant, the Chinese gift shop is really slow. It’s really hurting business.”
This after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new warning Tuesday.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the Director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said the Coronavirus, which is now being referred to as COVID-19, is approaching pandemic proportions and an outbreak in the U.S. is imminent.
“It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how people in this country will have severe illness.,” said Messonnier.
The Southern Nevada Health District said it is working closely with the CDC and preparing for the possibility of an outbreak but Southern Nevadans should not panic.
“Even though it’s a new virus, it’s not a completely new situation. We do see these seasonal epidemics of influenza every flu season so I want people to know that they do have the tools to protect themselves,” said Dr. Vit Kraushaar, medical investigator with the SNHD.
Kraushaar said Southern Nevadans should take the same precautions that are recommended during flu season.
Wash hands frequently, cover any coughs or sneezes and call in sick to work if you are not feeling well.