Novel Coronavirus (China)

 

The most recent information on coronavirus can be found at the University of Maryland homepage: umd.edu/virusinfo


 

 

Information below was last Modified January 29, 2020. Latest information at https://umd.edu/virusinfo

The University Health Center is actively monitoring the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (termed “2019-nCoV”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The coronavirus is a new virus for humans and was first identified in China.

There are currently no confirmed cases in Maryland or at the University of Maryland. The University Health Center (UHC) is in communication with local county and state health officials and will share information on this web page as it becomes available.  


University Measures

  • Sent campus-wide communication about 2019 novel coronavirus. Information included specific guidance for community members with chronic or underlying medical conditions.

  • We continue to consult with experts at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and we are no longer testing through UMB. All testing will be coordinated through the CDC, by communicating with the local and state health departments.   

  • Individuals visiting the UHC are being screened during their appointment for recent international travel, and will be asked about their health and travel history. 

  • Individuals who have recently traveled to Hubei Province/China and are experiencing fever, cough, or difficulty breathing have been advised by the CDC to visit their health care provider immediately. Individuals with milder respiratory symptoms and who test negative for influenza will be offered a screening test for other respiratory viruses. performed by a laboratory at the University of Maryland Baltimore. 

  • Flu activity is high in the U.S. and expected to continue for weeks. The UHC is performing confirmatory tests for influenza. Anyone who has not received a flu vaccine this season should consider getting the vaccine. Flu shots are available at the UHC.  

  • Executive members of the Campus Infectious Disease Management Committee (CIDMC), as well as the campus Incident Response Team, are actively monitoring developments around the coronavirus and coordinating campus resources, responses and communications. 

  • The CIDMC leadership group includes an Infectious Disease expert from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and works closely with a Coronavirus (SARS and MERS) expert from UMSOM.

  • Increased cleaning of high-touch surfaces and restrooms in university buildings, residence halls, fraternity and sorority housing, recreation facilities, the Stamp Student Union and Shuttle-UM buses.

Campus Communications

Jan 24, 2020: Health Information Regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Dear Campus Community:

Following our recent communication on January 22, we are updating the university community on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and comprehensive steps the university is taking to keep our community safe, healthy and informed. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the coronavirus a serious but not immediate health risk to the general American public. The coronavirus is a new virus for humans and was first identified in China. There are two confirmed cases in the United States in the states of Washington and Illinois, as of this morning. 

There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the State of Maryland or within the UMD community that have been reported to us by the State or Prince George’s County Health Departments. If this situation changes, we are committed to keeping the UMD community informed. For the latest updates on campus efforts and information, please visit health.umd.edu/coronavirus.  

Information for People Who Have Recently Traveled to China

  • If you have recently traveled to Hubei Province/China and are experiencing fever (greater than 100˚F or 37.8˚C), cough, or difficulty breathing, report immediately to the nearest hospital emergency department. If possible, call ahead to alert the facility of your symptoms and travel history. When you arrive at the facility, notify personnel immediately of your symptoms and travel history. 
  • If you have mild symptoms and a lower temperature, appointments are available at the University Health Center (UHC). 
  • Flu activity is high in the U.S. and expected to continue for weeks. The UHC is performing confirmatory tests for influenza. Anyone who has not received a flu vaccine this season should consider getting the vaccine. Flu shots are available at the UHC.  
  • The University of Maryland campuses in College Park and Baltimore are coordinating efforts to screen for potential cases of Novel Coronavirus. We are offering screening for  coronavirus to returning travellers from China concerned about possible exposure, even if you only have mild respiratory symptoms. Individuals who fit the CDC guidelines for possible coronavirus infection will be tested by the CDC laboratory.

Information for People with Underlying Health Conditions or Who Take Medicines that Suppress Their Immune System   

  • If you are experiencing a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, visit your healthcare provider immediately.
  • Notify the UHC of your medical history so that we can send you updated information as it becomes available. 
  • Get your yearly flu shot to prevent complications. 

Information for Everyone

We recommend that everyone take preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people. 
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. 
  • If you have mild symptoms and a lower temperature, make an appointment at the University Health Center (UHC). Individuals visiting the UHC with influenza-like illness will be tested for influenza which is widespread in the US. 
  • Get your yearly flu shot to prevent complications.

To supplement individuals’ efforts to maintain hygiene that reduces transmission of viruses, the university is also taking extra steps to increase cleaning of high-touch surfaces and restrooms in university buildings, residence halls, fraternity and sorority housing, recreation facilities, the Stamp Student Union, and Shuttle-UM buses.

For the latest updates from the CDC, please click here

 

In Health, 

Sacared Bodison, MD
Interim Director, University Health Center

Jan 22, 2020: A Message from the University Health Center about Novel Coronavirus in China

Dear Campus Community,

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (“2019-nCoV”) first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Reportedly, most patients have had links to a large seafood and live animal market, and there is limited person-to-person spread.  The CDC is closely monitoring the situation and is working with the World Health Organization (WHO). It is important to know that based on current information, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is deemed to be low at this time. 

Individuals visiting the UHC are screened during their appointment for recent international travel.  Those who have traveled from China to the United States will be asked questions about their health and travel history.  We advise you to seek medical care, and alert a healthcare provider if you have traveled to Wuhan City within the past 14 days and are experiencing fever with or without respiratory symptoms.  

For more information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, click here.

As a reminder, seasonal influenza activity in the United States and in Maryland continues to be high.  

The flu shot is the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu.  If you are already in the area, the University Health Center still has flu vaccines available, and it’s not too late to get yours. Schedule an appointment for a flu shot at myuhc.umd.edu or call 301.314.8180. 

 

If you have underlying health conditions or take medications that suppress your immune system:   

  • It is especially important to get your yearly flu shot to prevent complications. 
  • If you develop flu symptoms (fever with a cough or sore throat), please see your healthcare provider within 24-48 hours.  

For more information about the seasonal flu and ways to stay healthy, please visit the CDC’s website.

 

In health,

The University Health Center

Frequently Asked Questions About Coronavirus

What is Novel Coronavirus?

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), commonly known as a coronavirus, is a virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. While CDC considers this is a serious public health concern, based on current information, the immediate health risk from a coronavirus to the general American public is considered low at this time. For additional information visit the CDC website.

What are the symptoms?

Similar to the common cold and influenza, common symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The CDC believes that symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or up to 14 days after exposure.

How is the coronavirus transmitted?

Coronavirus is spread from animals to humans, as well as from person-to-person. It’s unclear, however, how easily the virus spreads between people.

How is the coronavirus prevented and treated?

There is currently no vaccine or specific antiviral treatment for the virus. The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

 

Have there been any cases diagnosed in Maryland?

There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the State of Maryland or within the UMD community that have been reported to us by the State or Prince George’s Health Departments.  

Can the University Health Center screen for possible cases?

We continue to consult with experts at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and we are no longer testing through UMB. All testing will be coordinated through the CDC, by communicating with the local and state health departments.  

If a UMD community member is experiencing symptoms, where will they be advised to stay while awaiting their coronavirus test results?

Individuals suspected of having the coronavirus infection will be transported to the hospital.  Other individuals with symptoms of a viral infection should follow typical recommendations to avoid passing the infection to others: stay at home until at least 24 hours after fever breaks, wash hands often or use alcohol based hand sanitizer, cough into a tissue and discard used tissues into the trash, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth since germs can be spread this way.

What is the travel guidance for those travelling to and from China?

The CDC recommends that travelers avoid non-essential travel to China. Individuals who have traveled to China in the last 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, should seek medical care right away.

Additional Resources

As the coronavirus infection can cause mild to severe respiratory illness and spreads from person-to-person, we recommend that everyone take preventive actions to stop the spread of germs. For flu prevention tips please visit https://health.umd.edu/fluprevention. To schedule an appointment for a flu shot visit myuhc.umd.edu or call 301-314-8180.