Coronavirus: What you should know

January 27, 2020

The University of San Diego is committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of our community, especially during this season of increased flu activity and an emerging public health situation related to a novel strain of coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China. There are currently no known exposures to the coronavirus in San Diego or on the USD campus. As with any health alert, the university is proactively working with campus partners, as well as local and state resources, to monitor the situation and to protect the health and wellbeing of the USD community.

At this time, we encourage you to join in our efforts by learning about coronavirus.

What is the Coronavirus?

2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. Early on, many of the patients in Wuhan reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, suggesting person-to-person spread is occurring. At this time, it is unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed five cases of the virus in the United States involving individuals who had recently traveled to Wuhan. There are many other possible cases being tested and we can expect more confirmed cases in the US.

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

The symptoms of the coronavirus include:

  • Fever above 100.4F, cough or shortness of breath AND
  • In the last 14 days before symptom onset, a history of travel from Wuhan City, China or in the last 14 days before symptom onset, close contact with a person with laboratory confirmed 2019-nCoV or in the last 14 days, close contact with a person who is under investigation for 2019-nCoV.

What to do if you have the above symptoms and exposure to 2019-nCoV?

  • Stay home from school and work
  • Cover your cough
  • Employees/Faculty/Staff, call your healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms and exposure. Students should call the Student Health Center.
  • If you have traveled to Wuhan, China, within the past 14 days, notify your health care provider at the time of your call. It is important to call before heading into a clinic so that your provider can be prepared for your visit.

What is USD doing to support the USD community?

The SHC is in direct communication with the state and county health departments. Wellness, at USD, follows the guidance of the public health departments and the Centers for Disease Control. We will continue to follow guidance, provide updates and adjust strategy when and if recommended.

USD has outreached directly to university community members we know may have been in exposure areas and we are offering direct support and guidance. Additionally, we are asking the whole community to practice strong prevention strategies such as washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands, avoid sharing drinks and food and avoid close contact with those who are sick.

You can learn more about the virus and prevention by reviewing: https://www.sandiego.edu/health-center/communications/coronavirus-update.php

What can I do now?

There is no vaccination for the coronavirus.

With flu activity continuing to increase in San Diego, now is the time to make sure that you are protected against the flu. It is not too late to get a flu shot, which is the best way to prevent the flu and its potentially serious complications. We ask you to join us in keeping your vaccinations up to date, washing your hands often, staying hydrated and helping us prevent the spread of infections.

To learn more about the coronavirus, please visit the CDC website for the latest and most reliable information. If you have additional questions or concerns, Staff/Faculty may contact their health provider. Students can visit the Student Health Center website.

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Pamela Sikes, MS, FNP-BC
Director, Student Health Center