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2019 Novel Coronavirus

To Baylor University students, faculty and staff,

As you have seen in the news, there is an emerging health concern about an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring the situation. Currently, additional cases have been identified in a growing number of countries with at least one confirmed case in the United States. We continue to pray for all those affected and for the health officials who are working to understand and contain the virus.

In the meantime, we want to assure you that we are taking every precaution to ensure the continued health and safety of our campus. We do this out of an overabundance of caution to make certain that we are well informed and prepared.

What You Should Know About 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that typically cause mild respiratory infections, although they can result in more severe disease, as seen in past years with SARS and MERS. This “novel coronavirus” is a strain that had previously not been found in humans, and its health impact is currently being closely monitored. Patients with confirmed 2019-nCoV infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. The CDC provides the latest information on 2019 novel coronavirus at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html.

Flu Activity Continues

We also want to remind you that the flu season is upon us. Influenza is a virus that has devastating consequences in our country each year. The CDC reports that flu activity is high in the U.S. and expected to continue for weeks.

If you haven’t received the flu vaccine yet, it’s available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday at the Health Center on the second floor of the McLane Student Life Center. To make an online appointment for a flu shot, please go to www.baylor.edu/health_center/ and click on My Health. If you have questions, contact Baylor Health Services at 254-710-1010.

The CDC also recommends everyday preemptive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the flu:

  • 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 coughs/sneezes in your elbow/sleeve or with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you do become ill, seek medical attention within the first 48 hours of symptoms.

Our Student Health Services is closely monitoring developments in the international outbreak of novel coronavirus and will continue to work closely with the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, following guidelines put forth by the CDC. When it is appropriate, Baylor will continue to provide updates to the University community.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Student Health Services at 254-710-1010 or Health_Services@baylor.edu.