By Maggie Vancampen —
In the wake of the growing coronavirus world health emergency, two non-students who recently returned from China are being monitored off-campus as of Jan. 31, university officials announced. The university has suspended all travel to to China and any other countries identified with the virus.
Executive Vice President and Vice Provost Beth Boehm said in an email, “The university has informed the Louisville Health Department about both of these individuals and will continue to follow Health Department and CDC recommendations in handling any cases of individuals arriving from countries in which the virus has been confirmed.”
Since the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) surfaced in Wuhan, China, the virus has spread to more than 16 countries with less than 10 confirmed cases in the United States. But one case surfaced over the weekend where the spouse of a coronavirus patient seems to have caught it from them in this country, according to media reports.
Health officials say coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough and breathing difficulties just like the flu. The virus has even led to respiratory illnesses like bronchitis and pneumonia.
Campus Health Services said students should see their doctor or call immediately if they have traveled abroad and are experiencing these symptoms. Campus Health Services has also confirmed cases of the flu which has no relation to the virus.
At the Cardinal’s deadline, more than 14,000 cases had been reported worldwide and six were in the United States. In China, more than 300 people have died of the virus. Non-american citizens cannot enter the United States from China.
U of L spokesperson John Karman said, “We have experts in environmental health and safety on this campus, and we would coordinate with other agencies to address coronavirus or any other similar outbreak situations.”
Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to follow normal strategies to protect themselves like they would from the cold or flu:
- get a flu shot
- wash hands frequently or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- cover coughs and sneezes
- clean and disinfect surfaces
- avoid contact with sick people
Campus Health Services’ number is 502-852-6479 (Belknap) or 502-852-6446 (Health Sciences). For more information, visit the Campus Health Services website.
To learn more about the coronavirus, visit the CDC coronavirus website.
Officials declined further comment on the two individuals now quarantined.
File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal