Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people such as has been seen with MERS and SARS.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is closely monitoring an outbreak caused by novel coronavirus COVID-19 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. A number of countries, including the United States, are actively screening incoming travelers from Wuhan and exported cases have been confirmed in Taiwan, Thailand, Japan and South Korea. The first case in the United States was announced on Jan. 21 in the state of Washington.
Lafene Health Center remains actively engaged with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment along with Riley County Health Department to comply with all CDC recommendations for screening and follow-up.
Frequently asked questions
What is the source of COVID-19?
Public health officials and partners are working hard to identify the original animal source of the virus that causes COVID-19. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Analysis of the genetic tree of this virus indicates it originated in bats, but whether the virus jumped directly from bats or whether there was an intermediary animal host is not, yet, known. SARS-CoV, another bat-origin coronavirus jumped to infect people via civets, while MERS-CoV, another bat-origin coronavirus jumped to people via camels.
What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?
According to the CDC, current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Any K-Stater — faculty, staff or student — who has traveled to/from Wuhan City, China, or had close contact with an individual diagnosed with or screened for novel coronavirus and feels sick with fever — 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius — cough, or difficulty breathing, should call Lafene Health Center at 785-532-6544 and ask to speak with the nursing coordinator or the communicable disease nurse to discuss your recent travel and symptoms.
How does the virus spread?
The new coronavirus seems to be spreading from person-to-person. Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
How can I help protect myself?
CDC always recommends everyday actions to help prevent the spread of any 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.
Visit the CDC Prevention and Treatment page to learn more.
What if I recently traveled to Hubei Province, China, or mainland China and got sick?
If you were in China and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, within 14 days after you left China, you should:
- Seek medical care right away. Before you go to Lafene Health Center, doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Not travel while sick.
- 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 to avoid spreading the virus to others. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Has anyone at K-State become infected?
There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 from K-State. See the current U.S. case count of infection with COVID-19.
If I feel sick, what should I do?
What is Kansas State University doing to prevent coronavirus from reaching campuses?
The health and safety of the university community is Kansas State University's primary concern. The university has taken the following actions:
- The university's Lafene Health Center is working with the Riley County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to monitor the situation and prevent the spread of diseases.
- The university is using K‐State Today, social media and the K‐State website to educate and communicate with the university community about the situation.
- Lafene Health Center offers health services to ALL K-Staters — including faculty, staff and students.
For a more extensive list of FAQ, visit the CDC's FAQ website.
Coronavirus update from Lafene Health Center in K-State Today (Feb. 17, 2020)
Message from KDHE on coronavirus in K-State Today (Jan. 29, 2020)
KDHE update on coronavirus for universities in K-State Today (Jan. 27, 2020)
Update on coronavirus in K-State Today (Jan. 24, 2020)
Page last updated Feb. 17, 2020