Dear Adelphi Community,
No doubt many of you will have heard by now of a respiratory illness–the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)–that first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has since spread. To date there have been five confirmed cases in the United States, all in people who had traveled recently to Wuhan. Because your well-being is the top priority of the Health Services Center and the University, we are sharing the following information.
There have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York state, but New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, MD, JD, reports that “this virus is being carefully monitored at federal, state and city levels to ensure the public’s health and safety, and while awareness is important, the current risk to New Yorkers is low.”
The 2019-nCoV is a coronavirus strain that has not previously been found in humans. This coronavirus can lead to fever, cough and shortness of breath. Most of those infected have reported exposure to a large seafood and live animal market in Wuhan, but there is also evidence of human-to-human transmission, though the ease of human-to-human transmission has not yet been fully clarified. Several hundred cases have been confirmed, mostly in the Wuhan, China, area, but elsewhere too, including among people who have traveled internationally from China. There has been a relatively small number of deaths reported as well; these more severe cases seem to have occurred among the elderly, those with underlying illnesses, or both.
Steps We Are Taking
Here at Adelphi, we have taken steps consistent with the recommendations of health authorities:
- We have been in touch with the relevant groups of students, including those students who, according to our records, are from the Wuhan region and other affected areas, and asked them to monitor themselves for the symptoms associated with the novel coronavirus. We have instructed these students to connect with the University’s Health Services Center if they are exhibiting any symptoms.
- We have heard from some students who report that they are unable to return to campus due to travel restrictions in place in China; we have advised them on who to contact about the delay in their return.
- Respiratory illnesses are common at this time of year; Adelphi’s Health Services Center is prepared to respond to communicable illnesses as always. Additionally, as per the Department of Health there will be a heightened emphasis on assessing recent travel history in all those who present with respiratory or flu-like symptoms.
- A representative team of Adelphi leadership will meet daily to continue to assess and address any potential impact on our Garden City campus and centers.
- We will continue to communicate regularly with health authorities and follow up with the Adelphi community.
Steps You Can Take to Protect Yourself From This and Other Flu-Like Illnesses:
- While the available flu vaccine will not protect you from the novel coronavirus, it will decrease your chance of contracting influenza type A and type B, which are widespread in New York at this time, with symptoms similar to novel coronavirus. If you have not had your flu vaccine, please contact the Health Services Center at 516.877.6000 to schedule an appointment.
- Cover your mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick or have flu-like symptoms.
- Stay home and seek medical attention if you are symptomatic.
- Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
If you recently traveled to/from Wuhan and have a fever and cough or shortness of breath, you should:
- Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. Call the Health Services Center at 516.877.6000 and ask to speak to a nurse.
- Wear a face mask if you need to leave your home when sick.
Health authorities throughout the world are working at resolving this and our University is working closely with local and state health departments, focused on protecting the health of the Adelphi community on all campuses.
If you have any health-related questions, please contact the Health Services Center at 516.877.6000.
Please visit cdc.gov/coronavirus for the latest information.