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Baylor student suspected of contracting coronavirus on trip to China

Suspected coronavirus case involving Texas A&M student
Suspected coronavirus case involving Texas A&M student

HOUSTON – A Baylor University student is suspected of having contracted the coronavirus on a recent trip to China, according to the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District.

The student traveled to China this year and was tested for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Thursday, officials wrote in an announcement on Facebook. The samples are headed to the Centers for Disease Control for testing, officials said Friday.

Officials say the student is “doing well with minimal symptoms,” and has been asked to “self-isolate."

“Baylor University is working with the patient to ensure that needs are being met during this self-isolation period,” officials wrote. “While the risk to the general public is low, the Health District is working to identify all those who may have come in contact with the suspected case. These individuals will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms if the case is positive.”

Waco-McLennan County public health officials are working with Baylor University, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local health care providers to take action according to best practices outlined by the CDC.

“As a precaution, anyone with the respiratory symptoms who was in Wuhan on or after December 1, 2019 and has onset of illness within two weeks of leaving, should seek medical attention. Make sure to contact the healthcare provider’s office before going to the medical center to receive proper infection control instructions,” officials wrote.

Earlier this week, a Texas A&M student was also isolated to a home in Brazos County after being suspected of having contracted the deadly virus on a trip to China.

Symptoms

The CDC says typical symptoms of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

“Preliminary information suggests older adults and people with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems may be at higher risk of severe illness from this virus,” Waco health officials wrote on their website. “Many characteristics of this novel coronavirus and how it may affect people are still unclear.”

Prevention

At present, there is no vaccine to help prevent people from contracting the 2019-nCoV infection. There are some basic preventative measures recommended by the CDC.

  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw it in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.