Jan 27, 2020
Because of recent events, UM is sharing information regarding the coronavirus and ways for our community to stay informed.
What is happening?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak caused by a new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in hundreds of confirmed cases in China. The majority of the illnesses are in Wuhan, but cases have been reported in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Macau, Hong Kong, and the US.
The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China.
What is the coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses with some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals. They typically affect the respiratory tract, but can also affect the gut. They are associated with the common cold, pneumonia, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
Should I be concerned?
Any discovery of a new type of viral infection among people is important to note. The CDC is collecting information so it can offer appropriate recommendations. The CDC is also working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) in monitoring the situation.
What are the symptoms?
According to the CDC’s Criteria to Guide Evaluation of Patients Under Investigation, this is what healthcare professionals are looking for:
History of travel from China in the last 14 days before symptom onset. -or- Close contact in the last 14 days before symptom onset with a person who is being examined for the coronavirus while that person was ill.
Fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing)
How can I protect myself?
Take the same measures you would use to protect yourself from any virus:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your mouth when you cough with a tissue or your sleeve (or wear a mask).
- Stay away from people who are sick.
- Refrain from touching your nose, eyes, or mouth after coming in contact with surfaces or people until you have sanitized.
What should I do if I meet the travel criteria and symptoms?
Call your doctor and explain about your recent travel and symptoms then seek care. Remember to take the protective measures listed above to prevent potential further spreading.
What is the risk in the United States?
Currently, the CDC says the risk to people in the US is considered low.
Student and Employee Health and UM Emergency Management are currently monitoring the situation and will work closely with the MS Department of Health if any new protective measures must be taken. There is no need for panic, but we should always be prepared.
Please follow this link for the most up to date information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html