ONGOING HEALTH ALERT - Coronavirus (Covid-19)
The first cases of a new coronavirus (respiratory illness) in Southern California—one in Orange County and one in Los Angeles—were confirmed this past weekend. Additional cases in the United States have been confirmed in Arizona, Illinois and Washington.
The University is committed to working to provide its students, faculty, staff and guests a healthy and safe environment in which to learn, work and study. For this reason, and to ensure that members of our community have access to current and accurate information, we encourage you to read this message in its entirety.
Campus administrators and staff are monitoring this situation and following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as State of California and Orange County public health officials. Importantly, the CDC has determined that individuals who have only casual contact with someone who is contagious with the new coronavirus (for example, being in the same grocery store or movie theater) are at minimal risk for developing an infection. If you have not been to Wuhan, China, or been in close contact with someone who has been to Wuhan and is sick, your risk of becoming ill is very low.
What is the coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes diseases ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory disease. This new strain of coronavirus was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, and has since resulted in more than 2,100 confirmed cases, 97% of those in China. Five cases have been reported in the United States. As of now, there have been 81 reported deaths worldwide, none in the United States.
The CDC reports that patients with this novel coronavirus have mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Severe illness is more common in people with underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems, as well as older adults.
What should I do?
In light of the outbreak of this new respiratory illness, and with two months remaining in the flu season, the University is requesting that all members of our community take prudent measures to protect against the spread of germs, including: avoiding close contact with people who are sick, washing your hands with soap and water, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu.
If you are feeling sick and have traveled to Wuhan, China or any other city or province within China during the month of January or have been in close contact with someone who has, please do the following:
- Stay home and avoid contact with others, except for seeking medical care.
- Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
If you develop symptoms of influenza-like illness or other respiratory infections, please stay at home and do not come to campus for school or work until you are no longer contagious. Contact your healthcare provider to seek medical attention as soon as you are able.
Students are able to seek medical attention from Student Health Services by calling 657.278.2800. Faculty and staff are encouraged to contact their primary care provider for support.
For information about the novel coronavirus, as well as the number and location of reported cases, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.
Additional information about the seasonal flu, including details about symptoms, the flu vaccine and prevention can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.
Orange County Health Care Agency - http://www.ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/epidasmt/epi/dip/prevention/novel_coronavirus
CDC fact sheet: 2019 Novel Coronavirus
The University will provide updates as warranted by events. Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation.
Mary Becerra, Ed.D., MPH Pearl Boelter, MPA, REHS
Director, Health Services Director, Environmental Health and Safety
FREE FLU VACCINE
Did you miss our annual Flu Clinic? Call (657)278-2800 and make an appointment for a FREE flu shot!
Why get vaccinated?
Influenza (“flu”) is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every year, usually between October and May.
Flu is caused by influenza viruses, and is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing, and close contact.
Anyone can get flu. Flu strikes suddenly and can last several days. Symptoms vary by age, but can include:
- sore throat
- muscle aches
- runny or stuffy nose
Flu can also lead to pneumonia and blood infections, and cause diarrhea and seizures in children. If you have a medical condition, such as heart or lung disease, the flu can make it worse.
Looking for more flu vaccine options for OC and LA? Check out the lists below.