ISU Monitoring China Travelers After Coronavirus Outbreak; Considers Campus Risk Low | WGLT

ISU Monitoring China Travelers After Coronavirus Outbreak; Considers Campus Risk Low

Jan 29, 2020

UPDATED 9:55 a.m. | Illinois State University said Tuesday that a small number of students, faculty, and staff who recently traveled to China have not yet shown any symptoms associated with the novel coronavirus.

There have been five confirmed cases so far in the U.S., all people who had recently returned from Wuhan, China. And at a news conference Tuesday, top U.S. health officials reiterated that the disease—while serious—is not currently a threat to ordinary Americans.

ISU health officials echoed that point in an email to campus Tuesday. 

“Even though the overall threat to the campus from the coronavirus is considered low, please be assured that Illinois State University takes this issue very seriously and is taking steps to keep the campus community safe,” said Dr. Christina Nulty, ISU’s Student Health Services director. 

ISU has identified a “small number” of students, faculty, and staff who traveled to and from China in recent months," she said.

“At this time, the University has not received any reports of individuals presenting symptoms associated with the coronavirus,” Nulty said. “Illinois State staff will continue to monitor developments and will implement appropriate campus response plans if needed.”

Meanwhile, the McLean County Health Department said Wednesday it too is monitoring the outbreak.

“At this time the level of risk to the public remains low. However, if that changes or if there are any confirmed cases within our county, we will share that information,” Jessica McKnight, administrator at McLean County Health Department, said in a statement. "We’re working closely with the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health and will be sharing updates as new information emerges."

China has reported a large surge of cases of the novel coronavirus, upping its count from under 3,000 to over 4,500 as of Tuesday morning. More than 100 deaths have been reported.

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