A message to the Concordia community from CUW's Student Health Center.
Concordia University Wisconsin’s Student Health Center (CUWSHC), in coordination with the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department and the WI Department of Health Services, is closely monitoring the recent outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new Coronavirus (COVID-19). Additionally, CUWSHC staff keeps abreast of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates and follows CDC guidelines regarding the new Coronavirus.
There are currently no confirmed or suspected cases at CUW or in Ozaukee or Milwaukee County. There remains only one confirmed case in the state of Wisconsin.
What is novel coronavirus (COVID 19)?
COVID-19 is a newly-identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December, 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Since then, the virus has been identified in multiple other countries, including cases in the United States. According to the CDC, human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people. This new virus is a public health concern because:
- It is newly-identified, so much is still unknown about it.
- It can cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people.
What is the risk?
The CDC considers this new virus a public health concern based on current information. However, the immediate health risk to the general U.S. public is considered LOW at this time. Individuals that have immunocompromised conditions are at higher risk.
Symptoms & Transmission
Symptoms of the new Coronavirus include:
- Shortness of breath and/or breathing difficulties
COVID-19 can cause mild to severe illness, including pneumonia. The main way COVID-19 is spread to others is when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This is similar to how influenza is spread. The virus is found in droplets from the throat and nose. When someone coughs or sneezes, other people near them can breathe in those droplets. The virus can spread when someone touches an object with the virus on it. If that person touches their mouth, face or eyes the virus can make them sick. Anyone who develops fever and respiratory symptoms and has traveled internationally to an affected geographic area in the past 14 days is advised to stay home and contact a health care provider. Individuals who have traveled internationally, but do not have symptoms, pose no risk and should not be excluded from classroom or campus activities.
There currently is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Currently there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public to take. However, as a reminder, CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before eating and after going to the bathroom, blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Use your own drinking cups, straws and eating utensils.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (phones, keyboards, tablets, doorknobs, refrigerator handles, faucets, toilets) with a disinfecting wipe or cleaner.
Recommendations for people with respiratory symptoms:
If you have symptoms of fever and cough, and/or difficulty breathing AND in the last 14 days you:
- Traveled from an affected geographic area (China, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea) OR
- Had close contact with a person know to have COVID-19
- Seek medical care. Before you go to the health center, doctor’s office or ER, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms
- Students may call the Student Health Center @ 262-243-4574
- Employees should contact their health care provider
- Avoid contact with others
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
What is the CUW Student Health Center doing about COVID-19?
- SHC stays in close communication with the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department for updates and guidance
- SHC has and will continue to actively screen ill patients for travel history
- Masks are made available for patients exhibiting upper respiratory symptoms as they enter the health center
- If epidemiological risk would be identified in an ill patient, SHC providers would immediately report the clinical presentation to the health department and take steps in accordance with CDC guideline.
For additional information:
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