Health Update: Coronavirus 2019-nCov

Posted on 1/28/2020 3:00:57 PM

IUP Community,
As you may be aware, there are reports of a new virus called Coronavirus 2019-nCov in the news. The virus causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person. The virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

The human coronaviruses can spread from an infected person to others through the air by coughing or sneezing; close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands; and touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.

Symptoms of the 2019-nCov have reportedly been mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you or anyone close to you have been to China within the past 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you can call the Health Service at 724-357-2550 for assistance—after hours you can access the Indiana Regional Medical Center Emergency Department. According to CDC, there is no specific antiviral treatment for 2019-nCov. People with 2019-nCov should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. 

The Health Service is monitoring the emerging facts about the disease and working with the Indiana County Department of Health to understand and enact best practices for screening and treating any students that may report with symptoms. 

While the immediate risk of this new virus is believed to be low, there are simple daily precautions that everyone should always take to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • 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.
  • Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue or the crook of your arm, and then promptly wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.
  • Get plenty of rest/sleep.
  • Get the seasonal flu vaccine. Though not protective against the coronavirus, the seasonal vaccine may prevent against the flu which is circulating on campus and is known to cause possible severe respiratory illness. 

Please direct any questions or concerns to IUP Health Service at 724-357-2550 or email health-inquiry@iup.edu.

Thank you, 
IUP Health Service Staff