COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Officials at the Brazos County Health District said Thursday they are investigating a suspected case of the 2019 novel coronavirus.
The male patient, who has been identified as a student at Texas A&M University, had traveled from Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus that has made headlines in recent days first originated, officials said.
Doctors quickly related the patient's mild symptoms to the novel coronavirus, and the patient is undergoing tests to confirm the suspected diagnosis. The results of those tests will be announced to the public if the patient's tests come back positive for the virus.
"There are so many kids that go to school here, 60,000 plus students," said Houston native and student Joel Cooley. "One virus like that getting out could potentially cause a bunch of damage."
Officials said the patient is being kept isolated at home until the results of the tests are received. Health officials said it is safe for students to attend classes at Texas A&M University.
"This patient did travel to the area of concern in China within the last 14 days and thankfully had mild upper respiratory symptoms, and he was improving. I believe the time the patient presented at the emergency department, it was more out of concern," said Dr. Eric Wilke with the Brazos County Health Department.
Students at Texas A&M were notified through email by the university. Some went to nearby stores and purchased face masks. Others said they would be staying in this weekend and making sure to wash their hands as much as possible.
"Kinda took it in, like oh, this is serious," said student Jordan Taylor.
Officials are asking anyone who has traveled to Wuhan, China, and are suffering flu-like symptoms to call the Brazos County Health Department at 979-361-4440.
Coronavirus Update with Dr. WilkePosted by Brazos County Health District on Thursday, January 23, 2020
What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?
Health officials say the coronavirus produces symptoms similar to those of the flu. They include fever, cough, shortness of breath and a sore throat.
For more information, visit the CDC website.