January 23, 2020
The University is monitoring the public health situation relating to a novel strain of coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China.
As of January 21 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed one case of the virus in Washington state involving an individual who had recently traveled to Wuhan. The World Health Organization reported 314 confirmed cases in China and neighboring countries. While we are not aware of any cases in the UChicago community or the State of Illinois, we are closely monitoring the situation, coordinating with colleagues from UChicago Medicine, and following the latest guidance from public health officials with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the CDC.
Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is one of five U.S. airports that will be conducting screening for illness in passengers entering the U.S. who traveled from Wuhan, China. Preliminary information suggests that older adults and people with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk from this virus.
Symptoms related to this coronavirus strain include fever, cough, runny nose, headache, or sore throat. In severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia or other complications. We encourage any student who is not feeling well or who has questions or concerns to contact the Student Health Service at 773-702-4156. Other members of the UChicago community are encouraged to reach out to their primary care provider with questions about their health. Individuals should inform their medical providers of any recent travel.
The following actions are useful advice for preventing the spread of viruses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
For more information on the screening process in place at UChicago Medicine and the Student Health Service, please review this Q&A with the hospital’s epidemiologist.