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K-State Today Special Issue

January 24, 2020

Update on coronavirus

Submitted by Lafene Health Center

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is closely monitoring an outbreak caused by a novel coronavirus 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. Lafene Health Center will continue to keep the K-State campuses up-to-date as information becomes available.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people such as has been seen with MERS and SARS. 

The confirmation that some limited person-to-person spread with this virus is occurring in Asia raises the level of concern about this virus, but CDC continues to believe the risk of novel coronavirus to the American public remains low at this time. Right now, coronavirus has not been found to be spreading in the United States, so there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public to take. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of 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.  

Students, faculty or staff who have traveled to/from Wuhan City, China, or had close contact with an individual diagnosed with or screened for novel coronavirus and feel sick with fever — 100.4 F or 38 C — 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.

In this issue