UNT is closely monitoring updates on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The university works with public health officials to monitor any potential concerns for our community. There are no confirmed cases in Texas at this time.
While there has been significant media coverage of the 2019-nCoV outbreak in China’s Wuhan Province, it should be noted that the flu is still a far bigger concern in the U.S. There have been no reported deaths in the U.S. and minimal illnesses from 2019-nCoV. The CDC estimates there have been at least 15 million flu illnesses in the U.S., including 140,000 hospitalizations and 8,200 deaths from the flu. Everyone is encouraged to get a flu shot, if they have not already.
What is novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?
2019-nCoV is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
Since then, the virus has been identified in multiple other countries, including a few cases in the U.S.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people.
What is the risk?
The CDC considers this new virus a public health concern based on current information. However, the immediate health risk to the general U.S. public is considered low at this time. The CDC and the World Health Organization are closely monitoring the situation and providing ongoing guidance.
Symptoms and transmission:
Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include:
- Difficulty breathing
Person-to-person spread is occurring although it’s unclear exactly how it is transmitted and how easily the virus spreads between people.
Travel to/through Wuhan or other parts of China:
There are no university-sponsored student trips to China this semester. The University of North Texas System requires all university-related international travel to be registered three weeks in advance via the UNT International Travel Registration Form. China is currently considered a high-risk destination because it is under a Level 3 CDC Travel Advisory. Travel to high-risk destinations must be approved by the International Risk Oversight Committee, IROC.
Chinese officials have closed transport within and out of Wuhan, including buses, subways, trains and the airport.
People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. (source: CDC)
Currently, there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public to take.
There is no vaccine to prevent this virus, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
Below are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of any respiratory virus:
- 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.
Recommendations for people with respiratory symptoms:
If you have symptoms of fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing AND in the last 14 days you:
Traveled to Wuhan, or
- Visited an affected region in China, or
Had close contact with someone who had traveled to an affected region in China and had respiratory symptoms.
- Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Contact the UNT Student Health and Wellness Center if you are a member of the UNT community, including faculty, staff and students at 940-566-2333, PRIOR to your appointment.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Do not travel while sick. Please do not get on public transportation or just arrive at the campus health service. Call 940-566-2333 instead.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
Resources for more information or assistance:
- Student Health and Wellness Center, 940-566-2333
- Division of Student Affairs, 940-565-4909 or email@example.com
- Emergency Management and Safety Services, firstname.lastname@example.org or 940-369-6153
- International Affairs, 940-565-2197
CDC Information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html