Three University of Washington students who recently traveled to Wuhan, China, are being screened for the new coronavirus that originated there, according to a notification emailed to students Sunday evening.
The virus has infected thousands of people and killed dozens in China since being discovered last month. Three cases have been confirmed in the United States this month, including a man in Snohomish County.
Like the Snohomish County patient, who is now being monitored in an isolation unit at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, the three UW students developed symptoms after returning home from Wuhan. None needed to be hospitalized, and “all are doing very well,” according to the university’s email.
One student, who lives off campus, tested negative, according to the university’s email. The other two are still awaiting their test results as of Sunday evening; they live on campus but have moved to isolated housing until Public Health – Seattle & King County clears them. Public Health “anticipates most persons tested will not have the infection,” according to the university’s email.
In its notification, the university reminded students — especially those in communal housing — to take precautions to prevent spreading illnesses, similar to steps people should always take during flu season:
- Stay home when you are sick to prevent others from being exposed to your illness.
- If you see a health-care provider for fever and cough, ask for a surgical mask to help prevent spread of infection when in the health care setting.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and immediately dispose of the tissue.
- Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.