(UPDATED Feb. 19, 2020, at 9 a.m.)
Student Health Services is continuing to monitor the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that was first detected in December 2019 in Wuhan City, China. There are more than 75,300 confirmed cases worldwide (58,000+ active cases) and more than 2,000 deaths due to the virus. In turn, more than 15,000 patients have recovered from the virus worldwide. Cases have been reported in throughout Asia, the western Pacific; Europe; the Middle East; Africa; Canada; and the United States. The virus causes mild to severe respiratory illness which can develop more serious complications like pneumonia — especially in patients that have other underlying conditions. The virus is believed to spread person-to-person via small droplets produced when an infected patient sneezes or coughs.
More than 300 Americans were evacuated from a cruise ship docked in Japan and are in quarantine on military bases across the United States. Fourteen of the evacuees have tested positive for COVID-19. In total, there have been 29 confirmed cases (23 are active) of COVID-19 in the U.S. In addition, there are at least 60 persons under investigation for suspected COVID-19 cases. It is likely that the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. will rise.
There have not been any cases of COVID-19 confirmed in South Carolina.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has created a web page with additional information about COVID-19 and its effects in South Carolina.
To prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus or other viruses, follow these simple
• Wash your hands regularly
• Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
• Disinfect surfaces regularly
• Avoid close contact with someone who is sick
• Cover your cough or sneeze
• Stay home if you are sick
UofSC students, faculty or staff who have traveled to China or have had close contact with someone with a confirmed case of the virus AND have symptoms like a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, are asked to make an appointment to see their doctor. To make an appointment at the health center, UofSC domestic or international students need to visit sc.edu/myhealthspace or call 803-777-3175. All patients arriving at the health center with a fever and/or respiratory symptoms will be asked to wear a mask.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that travelers AVOID ALL NONESSENTIAL TRAVEL TO CHINA. In addition, the World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and the U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 Travel Alert urging citizens to not travel to China.
Starting at 5 p.m. on Feb. 2 flights from China are being diverted to seven airports and Americans returning to the United States who have been in China’s Hubei province within 14 days will face a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Americans returning to the United States from other parts of China will face enhanced screening and a self-quarantine of up to 14 days. Foreign nationals, other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled to China within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the U.S. for this time.
Any student, faculty or staff that is considering travel to China or other areas where there is an active outbreak of the COVID-19 virus are urged to follow CDC and U.S. State Department travel recommendations.
Student Health Services has taken steps to prepare for a potential case and will continue to work with SC DHEC and the CDC to monitor our community. Student Health Services is also following the CDC guidelines.
Information for international students at UofSC. All students from Wuhan, China have been contacted to ensure that they and their families are well; which thankfully they are at this time. University-sponsored student travel to China is not going forward at this time.
For more information about the COVID-19 virus, visit the links below: