Chico State warns students about Coronavirus in California

Angelina Mendez

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On Sunday afternoon, around 2 p.m., the WellCat Health Center sent out a campus-wide email notifying the campus community about the two confirmed cases of the 2019-novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Southern California.
The 2019-nCoV is a virus that first broke out in Wuhan City, China, and has similar characteristics to other common viruses such as the flu which experience symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
“All contagious illnesses are concerned, and the University is taking every measure to ensure that our campus community informed,” the email from WellCat said.
The email also provides crucial information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program on background information and tips on how to prevent getting and spreading respiratory viruses similar to 2019-nCoV.
“Many coronaviruses produce cold-like symptoms that resolve without complications, but some coronaviruses can lead to pneumonia and complications, including death,” the email said. “People with weakened immune systems, autoimmune disorder, and respiratory conditions, as well as the ederly and the very young, are more at risk for the complications from infection.”
The email also explained that the 2019-nCoV has an estimated incubation period of up to 14 days and individuals who have recently traveled, especially near the Asia-Pacific area, are at risk for possible exposure.

Prevention methods from contracting the virus include:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching face with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick
  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and make sure to dispose of the tissue
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces 

Since the last published report on Jan. 22 by the World Health Organization, the number of reported confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV is 267.

“China reported cases in 25 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities). 25% of confirmed cases reported by China have been classified by Chinese health authorities as seriously ill (from Wubei Province: 16% severely ill, 5% critically ill, and 4% having died),” the WHO report said.

Students are welcome to contact the WellCat Health Center if concerned about themselves or another individual regarding their health or potential contact with the 2019-nCoV.

Angelina Mendez can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @theorion_angie