Current Health Alerts

Coronavirus (Novel Coronavirus: 2019-nCoV)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in more than a thousand confirmed cases in China, including cases outside Wuhan City. Additional cases have been identified in a growing number of other international locations, including the United States.

Lake Superior State University is monitoring this outbreak and will update campus as needed.  Currently, there is no direct threat to campus or students.  Please visit www.cdc.gov for updated information on this outbreak and any other health concerns.

If you plan to travel, especially internationally, it is recommended you visit the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory page: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel.html  CDC travel page for up to date notices and alerts:  https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.

There are ongoing updates and alerts regarding travel to China.  If you have a trip planned to China, please visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html and CDC website https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/china#travel-notices regarding the travel notices to the area.

If you have symptoms of fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing and in the last 14 days:

  • You traveled to/through Wuhan, OR.
  • You visited another affected region in China, OR.
  • You had close contact with someone who had traveled to an affected region in China and had respiratory symptoms

If you have recently traveled to China and are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness like fever, cough, shortness of breath, please contact your healthcare provider by phone to describe your symptoms and travel history.  Avoid public transportation and walking into medical facilities without first contacting them by phone for advice.

REMINDER: It is flu season. Flu can cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms. The U.S. is experiencing a highly active flu season. It is important to do the following to help prevent the spread of the flu on campus:

  • Get your flu shot! The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older receive the vaccine.
  • Avoid catching the flu by
    • Washing your hands (20 seconds or more with soap and water)
    • Avoid close contact with others who are sick
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth
    • Getting enough sleep
    • Eating a balanced diet
  • Avoid spreading the flu by
    • Staying home when you’re sick
    • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
    • Washing your hands (20 seconds or more with soap and water)

If you’re experiencing symptoms of the flu, please visit the CDC page regarding what to do if you get sick (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/treatment/takingcare.htm#whatshould)


What is novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

2019-nCoV is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Since then, cases have been identified in multiple other countries including the US.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people. This new virus is a public health concern because:

• It is newly identified, so much is still unknown about it.
• Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have caused severe illness.

What is the risk?

The CDC considers this new virus a public health concern based on current information. However, the immediate health risk to the general US public is considered low at this time. The CDC and the World Health Organization are closely monitoring the situation and providing ongoing guidance.

Symptoms and Transmission

Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include:

• Fever
• Cough
• Difficulty breathing.

Person-to-person spread is occurring, although it’s unclear exactly how it is transmitted and how easily the virus spreads between people.

Treatment

People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. (source: CDC)

Prevention

There is no vaccine to prevent this virus, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

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.