January 24, 2020

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SIU students, faculty and staff:

We share the following information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

University officials continue to monitor reports on the outbreak of pneumonia caused by a new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. While many questions remain unanswered about this infection — and we have no reported cases at SIU Carbondale — we want the members of the campus community to know that we are closely following the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health, and Jackson County Health Department to protect the health of our faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Policies are in place at the Student Health Center to rapidly identify, test, isolate and treat suspected patients while minimizing the risk of exposure to health providers and other contacts.

Symptoms of this illness include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Reports indicate that virus is spreading person-to-person, although it’s unclear how easily it spreads between people. Preliminary information suggests that older adults and people with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease from this virus. There is no current vaccine for this or other coronaviruses.

For those people returning from Wuhan or central China, or who have been in close contact with a suspected case of 2019-nCoV:

Travelers from Wuhan to U.S. international airports may undergo health screenings and be asked questions about their travel history to identify possible new cases of novel coronavirus infection.

If you feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention immediately. Let your doctor know that you have traveled to Wuhan.

For more information, visit the CDC information page or the World Health Organization guidance page.

Please contact Student Health Services, 618-453-3311, if you have additional questions.

Sincerely,

Dr. Paul Bennett, Medical Chief of Staff
Student Health Services