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ISU and McLean County Health Department get ahead of the Coronavirus

Written by on January 29, 2020

Photo courtesy the Student Health Services Homepage

NORMAL, Ill.- Local and ISU health officials are working with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor the Coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan, China.

“At this time the level of risk to the public remains low, however, if that changes or if there are any confirmed cases within our county, we will share that information,” said Administrator at McLean County Health Department Jessica McKnight.

The CDC is advising travelers to avoid travel to China.

Communication Specialist Dion McNeal said, “The virus is now here in Illinois, I think we are working really well with our health care providers at a state level, a local level and even a national level. We are constantly making sure we are approaching this aggressively and keeping it well contained. I think all of the communication is happening, from the bottom all the way up to the top.”

As of  Thursday, Jan. 30 the flu-like virus had killed at least 170 people, all of them in China. More than 7,700 others have been infected, including five confirmed cases in the United States. More than 100 people in the U.S. were being tested for the disease across 26 states.

No person-to-person spread has been detected in the United States at this time.

ISU is also taking precaution. In a mass email, Medical Director of Student Health Services Christina Nulty emphasized the threat of the Coronavirus was originated in China and spread to Chicago is not a pressing threat to the campus of ISU.

Officials from Student Health ServicesStudent Affairs and Emergency Management are assuring that they are and have been closely monitoring developments with the spread of the Coronavirus since it was first reported.

At this time, the University has not received any reports of individuals presenting symptoms associated with the Coronavirus. 

Certain healthcare protocols for monitoring are being followed at ISU.

Based on CDC travel advisories the University is restricting university related travel by faculty, staff and students to countries with Level 2 or higher outbreaks.

At Level 2 there is sustained (ongoing) community transmission.

Countries currently at Level 2 or higher include China, Japan, Iran, Italy and South Korea.

Decisions regarding future university-related international travel and academic credit programs abroad will be made based on guidance from health and government authorities.

Those decisions will be communicated directly to the individuals involved in those programs.

This story will and has been updated since 3/2/2020