FOR THE MOST RECENT INFORMATION, VISIT THESE SOURCES:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Alabama Department of Public Health 

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

  • UA has had no suspected cases of coronavirus, and UA has not been notified of any member of the campus community with the virus.
  • The UA System has extensive expertise and systems in place to monitor and address possible infectious diseases, and our University has comprehensive plans to address emergencies, including infectious disease. The University Medical Center and the Student Health Center and Pharmacy have procedures in place for contagious severe illnesses and are prepared.
  • Two messages have been emailed to students sharing information about the coronavirus, symptoms to watch for, and what to do to avoid getting sick. As a result of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and consistent with U.S. State Department recommendations, UA has suspended university-sponsored travel to China for students, faculty and staff due to ongoing concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak stemming from Wuhan, China.
  • The risk for Alabamians remains relatively low at this time, and UA — along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alabama Department of Public Health — are closely monitoring the situation. This new coronavirus can cause mild illness that can be overcome, but more severe cases can be life-threatening.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:

  • Take general precautions like frequent hand washing to prevent the spread of any virus, including seasonal flu, which is still active across Alabama and the U.S.
  • If you have not received a flu shot, it is not too late. For additional advice on flu facts and prevention, visit cdc.gov/flu.
  • If you have flu-like symptoms, it is likely the common cold or a common strain of the flu. Symptoms of coronavirus include, but are not limited to, fever, running nose, headache, cough, and the general feeling of being unwell; these are also symptoms of the common flu virus.
  • If you have concerning symptoms, call the Student Health Clinic prior to visiting at (205) 348-3854 or after hours at (205) 348-0386. If you are an employee and have concerning symptoms, please call the University Medical Center at (205) 348-4696 or (205) 348-1770  before visiting.

CAMPUS MESSAGES:

 

Common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Most people get infected with these viruses at some point in their lives, according to the CDC. These illnesses usually last for a short time.

The new coronavirus can cause mild illness that can be overcome, but more severe cases can be life-threatening. Chinese health officials have reported thousands of infections in many parts of that country. Most of them are associated with travel from Wuhan, China. Infections are also being reported in many parts of the globe, including the United States.

The CDC has classified the risk as a “serious public health threat,” but it says the immediate health risk to the general American public is “considered low at this time.” The World Health Organization has declared the new coronavirus as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

Reported illnesses have ranged from people being mildly sick to people being severely ill and dying. According to the CDC, symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure, according to the CDC.

If you have these symptoms, it is likely the common cold or a common strain of the flu. It is unlikely that anyone will be diagnosed with coronavirus at this time unless they have traveled to affected countries or had contact with someone who has. If you have concerning symptoms, call the Student Health Clinic prior to visiting at (205) 348-3854 or after hours at (205) 348-0386. If you are an employee and have concerning symptoms, please call the University Medical Center at (205) 348-4696 or (205) 348-1770 before visiting.

According to the CDC, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals. When person-to-person spread has occurred, it is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza spreads.

UA has a number of comprehensive plans in place to address emergencies, including those resulting from infectious disease. Health-related plans result from in-depth exchanges between the Student Health Center and University Medical Center in conjunction with UA’s Office of Emergency Management. UA personnel are in regular contact with the Centers for Disease Control and the Alabama Department of Public Health and would continue this communication throughout any implementation of the plan.

If a recent traveler to China has been in close contact with a symptomatic patient, the recommendation is to self-isolate during the 14-day incubation period.

If a recent traveler to China has not been in close contact with a symptomatic patient and has not/is not experiencing symptoms, the recommendation is for the person to self-monitor and report to a medical provider if he/she starts exhibiting symptoms. They should also notify the medical provider of their recent travel in China.

The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China. Travelers should remain away from Wuhan City, China. The UA System has suspended all UA-sponsored travel to China. Please check the latest U.S. State Department travel information.

Foreign nationals, other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled in China within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the United States for this time,” per a presidential proclamation under INA 212(f), signed by President Trump Jan. 31.

Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been in Hubei province in the 14 days prior to their entry to the United States will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine to ensure they have been provided proper medical care and health screening.

Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been anywhere else in mainland China in the 14 days prior to their entry to the United States will undergo “proactive entry health screening at a select number of ports of entry,” and up to 14 days of “monitored self-quarantine” to ensure they have not contracted the virus and do not pose a public health risk.

Watch for changes in your health for 14 days after leaving China. If you get a fever, develop a cough or have difficulty breathing, avoid contact with others and phone your doctor or health care provider, and tell them of your symptoms and your recent travel. They will provide additional instruction about steps to take before your medical visit to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others in the office or waiting room. Do not travel while you are sick.

It is unlikely that anyone in the U.S. will be diagnosed with coronavirus at this time unless they have traveled to affected countries or had contact with someone who has. If you have concerning symptoms, please call the Student Health Clinic prior to visiting at (205) 348-3854 or after hours at (205) 348-0386. If you are an employee and have concerning symptoms, please call the University Medical Center at (205) 348-4696 or (205) 348-1770 before visiting. If you are not experiencing symptoms, just continue to monitor your health as normal.

Phone the Student Health Clinic prior to visiting at (205) 348-3854 or after hours at (205) 348-0386. If you are an employee and have concerning symptoms, please call the University Medical Center at (205) 348-4696 or (205) 348-1770 before visiting.

According to the CDC, if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after travel from China, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your symptoms and recent travel. If you have had close contact with someone showing these symptoms who has recently traveled from this area, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your close contact and their recent travel. Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for 2019-nCoV. At this time, diagnostic testing for 2019-nCoV can be conducted only at CDC.

Show compassion for your visitor’s wellbeing and concern for their health and that of their friends and families. Prepare your community that it’s common practice in China for people to wear face masks as a precaution so they will not be alarmed in seeing such precautions.

It’s flu and respiratory disease season. Health experts encourage everyone to get their flu vaccine. Typical, but very effective, tips like washing your hands, covering your cough and staying home when you are sick can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.

For the latest information on the new coronavirus, visit the CDC’s website.