doctor holding thermometer at hospital

WVU is monitoring coronavirus, urging students traveling to China and other areas affected by the outbreak to take extra precautions and keep informed of the health situations of their destinations.

“If you have concerns, or experience symptoms of coronavirus, it’s important to contact WVU Medicine Student Health at 304-285-7200,” said WVU Urgent Care Medical Director Carmen Burrell in a University news release. “Understanding your symptoms can help mitigate risk of spreading infection of coronavirus or other illness during cold and flu season.”

These extra precautions include the following, according to the release:

  • Avoiding contact with sick people.
  • Covering face while coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoiding animals (alive or dead), animal markets and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease and should discuss travel with their healthcare provider, according to the release.

In the release, WVU said WVU requires faculty, staff and students to register all university-related travel. By registering, travelers receive updates on regional concerns, such as coronavirus.

Registering also ensures access to the University’s international medical, safety and security service, including medical coverage while abroad, according to the release.

The coronavirus is a respiratory illness; its outbreak began in December, with early patients linked to a food market in Wuhan, China, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms of the illness can include Fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Much is still unknown about coronavirus. The CDC calls the outbreak a “rapidly evolving situation” and says there are current investigations to learn more about the illness and its spread.

The State Department issued a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisory for China on Thursday, urging United States citizens not to travel to China and encouraging those currently in the country to leave.

There have been eight confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States. There are nearly 14,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus in China, with more than 300 dead, according to The Washington Post.