The United States Department of State has upgraded all of China to a Level 4 – Do Not Travel advisory.
“Do not travel to China due to the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China,” their website states. “On January 30, the World Health Organization determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. Commercial carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China.”
For more information on the Travel Advisory please visit the U.S. Department of State website.
There have been no cases reported on the Boise State University campus or in Idaho.
Health officials have connected the virus to a market in Wuhan that sold seafood, birds and live animals. While the market has been closed, there are indications that the virus may also be transmitted from human to human. A few cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Asian countries outside of China, and five cases have been diagnosed in the U.S. as of Jan. 27.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is now requiring public health entry screenings at five major U.S. airports with direct flights to Wuhan, China, including: Atlanta (ATL), Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), New York City (JFK) and San Francisco (SFO). All direct and indirect flights from Wuhan are being routed to these five U.S. airports.
All members of the campus community who are planning to travel internationally are urged to register with either Boise State’s Risk Management (faculty/staff) or the Center for Global Education (students) prior to travel.
Additionally, these steps should be followed while traveling to prevent the further spread of illness:
- Keep distance from people who are obviously sick
- Wash hands frequently and using hand sanitizer whenever soap and water are not available
- Avoid markets with live animals and birds while abroad
- Ensure food is thoroughly cooked, including eggs and meats
- Seek medical assistance as soon as possible if symptoms develop during or after travel, especially if the symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath
Travelers to Asia may encounter screening at airports. Travelers with symptoms have been detained in airports until proven negative for the virus. For these reasons, it is wise to travel with all immunizations up to date, including the flu shot. Influenza symptoms are similar to coronavirus symptoms. Being immunized against influenza lowers the possibility of developing fever and respiratory symptoms due to influenza.
Boise State University Health Services is taking precautions to identify cases within the campus community as early as possible, in coordination with the Central District Health Department and the Idaho Health and Welfare Department, as per their standard practice.
Anyone who becomes sick with respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, fever) within 14 days of returning from travel to China or other Asian countries should contact University Health Services at (208) 426-1459 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information:
- The CDC established a website for up-to-date information on the 2019 coronavirus
- Johns Hopkins University has set up a disease spread mapping application tracking the Wuhan coronavirus in real-time
- With specific medical questions about coronavirus, individuals can contact University Health Services at (208) 426-1459 or email@example.com
- With questions about university-sponsored travel to Asian countries, contact Kip McBean at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The CDC maintains a Travel Health Notices website where everyone can follow current health issues in China