Coronavirus Update 1/31/2020
Dear Washington College Community,
The outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (2019-nCoV) first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, is rapidly evolving. I wanted to give you some updates and guidance provided by the Maryland Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. State Department of State.
To date, one person has been tested in Maryland and the results were negative.
Many of the patients in the pneumonia outbreak caused by 2019-nCov in Wuhan had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring.
The exact incubation period for this coronavirus has not yet been determined, but health officials believe that most infected people will develop symptoms 2-14 days after they are exposed. Current symptoms reported include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing
The U.S. Department of State reports: “Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. Commercial carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China.” The CDC has issued at a Level 3 Travel Health Notice recommending people avoid all nonessential travel to China.
Washington College Health Services is asking ALL students who have traveled ANYWHERE abroad in the past 30 days to contact Health Services at 410-778-7261 to discuss screening, monitoring, and health precautions. We employ the same screening protocols recommended by the CDC that are currently in place at the local Emergency Department and other outpatient clinics.
Likewise, Faculty and Staff should discuss ANY recent travel abroad and/or any illnesses with their personal healthcare providers.
No matter who you are, the CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs. This includes staying away from sick people, washing your hands frequently, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces—especially if someone is ill—to decrease your chances of getting or spreading this or any virus.
This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will update information as we get it. The CDC posts information as it becomes available. The link is: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html