The coronavirus is spreading and killing people worldwide, causing international students from affected areas to be concerned about their families and their ability to travel back home.
Dean of Student Services Herbert Reeves sent an email to all students on Wednesday morning going over the university’s take on the disease.
“Troy University is closely monitoring the situation with the coronavirus that is affecting various parts of the world,” he said. “Students and others who have recently traveled in the areas affected by the virus have been identified and communication with them is constant to ensure early intervention should they develop symptoms.”
Reeves said no one on campus has been diagnosed with the virus at this time.
“The Student Health Center remains up to date on all information and alerts being provided by the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and will respond as necessary should a case develop on campus.”
The virus presents itself with flu-like symptoms, such as fever, coughing and shortness of breath.
Everyone is encouraged to wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. They should avoid touching the face in general, especially with unwashed hands.
One should also avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay home themselves when they exhibit symptoms.
“My city’s virus development is not very serious, most people are still good, but every city in our province will have two or three people become infected with the virus,” said Shunyin Li, a junior multimedia journalism major from Nanjing, China.
China recently constructed a huge hospital to treat the virus, according to Li.
“I’m worried about the actual condition of the virus,” said Shijia Zhang, a senior computer science major from Fushun, Liaoning, China. “I don’t know how long it will take to get the vaccine out and stop it.
“My families are doing fine so far.
“I’ve told them to wear masks and try to stay at home as much as possible.”
Jackie Chirico, the nurse practitioner at the Student Health Center, said while the university is monitoring the issue, she isn’t as concerned about this area since there have been no people diagnosed locally.
“The CDC is definitely monitoring it,” she said. “I know they’re doing screenings at airports.
“It’s more they’re being cautious and alert.”
There are currently five confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States: one in Arizona, one in Washington, one in Illinois and two in California.
All of the victims had previously visited Wuhan, China, where the disease originated.
Many counties around the world are facing confirmations of the virus.
“If we wanted to do a screening test, we would get a link and get approved to do testing,” Chirico said.
“We’re just closely monitoring the situation that’s affecting other parts of the world, and nobody on or campus has been identified or diagnosed.”