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COVID-19 Information

Health Center Provides Information on Coronavirus

Infection Not in Maryland, but Hand-Washing, Other Preventative Steps Encouraged

By Maryland Today Staff

Coronavirus

Image by iStock

The coronavirus, a new virus for humans that was first identified in China, is a serious but not immediate health risk to the general American public, according to the CDC.

The following message was emailed to the university community on Friday: 

Dear Campus Community:

Following our recent communication on Jan. 22, we are updating the university community on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and comprehensive steps the university is taking to keep our community safe, healthy and informed. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the coronavirus a serious but not immediate health risk to the general American public. The coronavirus is a new virus for humans and was first identified in China. There are two confirmed cases in the United States in the states of Washington and Illinois, as of this morning. (Update: As of  early Monday morning, the CDC had confirmed five U.S. cases.)

There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state of Maryland or within the UMD community that have been reported to us by the state or Prince George’s County Health Departments. If this situation changes, we are committed to keeping the UMD community informed. For the latest updates on campus efforts and information, please visit https://health.umd.edu/coronavirus.  

Information for People Who Have Recently Traveled to China

  • If you have recently traveled to Hubei Province/China and are experiencing fever (greater than 100˚F or 37.8˚C), cough or difficulty breathing, report immediately to the nearest hospital emergency department. If possible, call ahead to alert the facility of your symptoms and travel history. When you arrive at the facility, notify personnel immediately of your symptoms and travel history. 
  • If you have mild symptoms and a lower temperature, appointments are available at the University Health Center (UHC). 
  • Flu activity is high in the U.S. and expected to continue for weeks. The UHC is performing confirmatory tests for influenza. Anyone who has not received a flu vaccine this season should consider getting the vaccine. Flu shots are available at the UHC.  
  • The University of Maryland campuses in College Park and Baltimore are coordinating efforts to screen for potential cases of Novel Coronavirus. We are offering screening for coronavirus to returning travelers from China concerned about possible exposure, even if you only have mild respiratory symptoms. Individuals who fit the CDC guidelines for possible coronavirus infection will be tested by the CDC laboratory.

Information for People With Underlying Health Conditions or Who Take Medicines That Suppress Their Immune Systems   

  • If you are experiencing a fever, cough or shortness of breath, visit your health care provider immediately.
  • Notify the UHC of your medical history so that we can send you updated information as it becomes available. 
  • Get your yearly flu shot to prevent complications. 

Information for Everyone
We recommend that everyone take preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people. 
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. 
  • If you have mild symptoms and a lower temperature, make an appointment at the University Health Center (UHC). Individuals visiting the UHC with influenza-like illness will be tested for influenza, which is widespread in the US. 
  • Get your yearly flu shot to prevent complications.

To supplement individuals’ efforts to maintain hygiene that reduces transmission of viruses, the university is also taking extra steps to increase cleaning of high-touch surfaces and restrooms in university buildings, residence halls, fraternity and sorority housing, recreation facilities, the Stamp Student Union, and Shuttle-UM buses.

For the latest updates from the CDC, please click here

In Health, 

Sacared Bodison, MD
Interim Director, University Health Center

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Strategic Communications for the University of Maryland community weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.