A large trade show scheduled to take place at the Oregon Convention Center canceled its event amid concerns over the coronavirus. The expo, known as the Northwest Materials Show, pairs textile manufacturers with shoe and clothing businesses.
Guests were to include industry behemoths such as Nike, Adidas, and Columbia Sportswear. A week from this Wednesday originally marked the beginning of the event. Instead, fears of the outbreak forced the organizers’ hands.
While no cases presently exist within the state of Oregon, many of the attendees travel from China to participate in the trade show. Additionally, some organizers said colleagues and friends experienced a direct impact from the coronavirus.
The cancellation creates a formidable industry roadblock. Its delay translates to delays in manufacturing. As one attendant, Hisham Muhareb, explained, the event is, “People making decisions. I’m going to pick this color, this material to go with this particular shoe. So, manufacturing is affected, deliveries and everything is up in the air.”
Coronavirus Under Close Watch
While few reports of the coronavirus show its spread in the United States, China continues to struggle with its containment. The epicenter of the virus, the Chinese city of Wuhan, remains under lockdown now for a third week. That lockdown also encompasses the broader province of Hubei, where some 50 million inhabitants reside.
The present death toll exceeds 560 and continues to rise. All of those except 2 happened in China, where infections number over 28,000. Comparatively, the United States only has 12. Airport screenings and quarantine measures help stem the potential outbreak within US borders.
Scientists continue to work on the virus, trying to predict the course of its outbreak. Questions still loom over its trajectory. However, they do understand symptoms generally appear within 2 weeks of infection. Hence, quarantine measures hold individuals evacuated from Wuhan for 14 days.
As compared to other outbreaks, the coronavirus fatality rate remains relatively low. At 2.2 percent, it pales in comparison to 2012’s bird flu, which killed 616 in its total 1,568 cases, a 39.3 percent fatality rate.
As for the trade show, organizers plan to reschedule for the summer.