Texas A&M prepared amid coronavirus scare

Published: Jan. 24, 2020 at 9:26 PM CST
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Texas A&M University health officials say they are closely monitoring a possible case of coronavirus on campus.

Officials say a student who recently traveled to China began showing symptoms and showed up to a local emergency room. A sample from the student was sent to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta Thursday. The results will be available within the next few days.

"It does raise people’s anxiety,” said Texas A&M Student Health Services Director Dr. Martha Dannenbaum. “Again, we are reminding people that the risk is low, that the infection appears to be predominantly in another country.”

At this time, officials say they believe the 20 to 30-year-old man attended classes before seeking treatment. The University’s Student Health Services Department says because of that, they are staying prepared.

"Monday morning, if we get a positive result sometime over the weekend, we will have dedicated people to go through a screening process for people who are concerned,” said Dr. Dannenbaum.

That screening would include learning the patient's travel history and checking for symptoms of an upper respiratory virus.

"We would also be working very closely with the Brazos County Health District to assist with helping the students who might have been in closest contact with the individual who was positive,” Dr. Dannenbaum said.

Still, officials say the more common virus in our community is the flu.

"We know that the flu is deadly. We have had many deaths in the state of Texas, more so than we have seen in this particular coronavirus,” said Dr. Dannenbaum.

The CDC says if you have traveled to China recently and are showing signs of an upper respiratory virus, call your local emergency room before showing up.

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