What to know about the Novel Coronavirus

January 30, 2020

There are no confirmed cases in our area, but U-M is taking precautionary measures.

University of Michigan officials and UM-Dearborn’s Office of Emergency Management are closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.

While there are some confirmed cases in the U.S., no cases have been confirmed in Michigan. Of the four potential cases in southeast Michigan that were recently submitted for testing, three have come back negative for the virus. University officials are monitoring the remaining case closely in partnership with local and state public health experts.

At this time, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general public in the U.S. is considered low. This situation may change quickly as we learn more about how this new virus spreads between people.

As of January 27, 2020, health officials do not consider contact with a healthy person who has had recent travel to China or Wuhan a risk for potential exposure.

What are the symptoms of novel coronavirus?

Common signs of 2019-nCoV include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and kidney failure. For more information, visit the University Health Service Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV website.

What should I do?

If you have not been in Wuhan, China, in the past two weeks, or had close contact with someone in Wuhan who was ill or being evaluated for 2019-nCoV, your risk is currently considered very low. 

If you develop a fever and respiratory symptoms within 14 days of travel through Wuhan, China, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that you call ahead to a medical provider and mention your recent travel or close contact. If you are concerned, contact your health care provider or local health department.

Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

●     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.

●     Get a flu vaccine. (Contact your health care provider or local pharmacy).

Travel to/from China?

The CDC recently classified China as a Level 3 warning destination, recommending that all individuals avoid nonessential travel to the country. 

Because of the CDC action, all travel to China is under a U-M travel restriction. Undergraduate students may not proceed with U-M related travel to China. Graduate students may only do so with a university-approved safety plan, which ensures they are aware of the health risks, have developed strategies to stay safe, and are prepared to shelter in place should China impose additional travel restrictions.

We will continue to monitor the outbreak closely in partnership with our local and state public health officials. If you have any questions please contact Laura Drabczyk, Director, UM-Dearborn Office of Emergency Management at ldrabczy@umich.edu.


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