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Feb. 5: Monitoring a new coronavirus

Feb. 5, 2020

Augustana College is monitoring the developments of the new coronavirus from China as information is shared by the Illinois Department of Health and the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

College officials said they will act with an abundance of caution and keep the campus community updated as needed. No students are currently in China, and no student travel there is planned this spring.

The outbreak of respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus first was detected in Wuhan City, China, and continues to spread.

The Illinois Department of Health advises that anyone who has been in China in the last two weeks (or knows someone who may have novel coronavirus) and has symptoms, should call a health care provider and make arrangements  to be assessed.

The symptoms of the coronavirus may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

The first case in the United States was announced on Jan. 21. As of Feb. 3, in Illinois 41 people have been tested, two cases have been confirmed and 13 cases were negative. The remaining tests are pending.

The new coronavirus is called the 2019-nCoV. The abbreviation nCoV stands for novel coronavirus. —  is part of a family of viruses, some of which can infect people and animals. The viruses are so-named for crown-like spikes on their surfaces.

The viruses can cause the common cold, or more severe diseases such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome).

Augustana students and staff with questions about 2019-nCoV should contact the Dean of Students office, 309-794-7533.