The Coronavirus started through a diseased food market in the city of Wuhan, causing the Coronavirus to spread from an infected animal to patient zero. The virus continued to infect people throughout the Hubei region until authorities stopped all travel out of Wuhan on Jan. 20. Although Texas does not have any confirmed cases, officials are taking precautions.
“We are monitoring the 2019 Novel Coronavirus situation closely and receiving updates from the CDC,” school nurse Amy Dresser said. “At this time, there is no guidance for schools to do anything differently.”
In light of these developments, the United States evacuated its citizens from Wuhan, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a level 3 travel warning against all non essential travel to the region. Although the virus has not reached Texas, officials continue to take precautions as there is no vaccine for the virus. There have been 11 positive tests for Coronavirus of Americans traveling back from the region. The CDC has taken measures to prevent its spread, setting up advanced screening of people who have traveled to Wuhan within the last 14 days. Although Coronavirus killed over 560 people, an estimated 10,000 people died of the flu in US alone this year.
“I think the coronavirus should be taken seriously, but I think people also need to focus on the flu, because it kills more people each year and we know it is prevalent in this area right now,” senior Gabby Tillinghast said.
The virus exhibits flu-like symptoms and has an incubation period of up to 14 days, giving the Coronavirus time to spread. It has spread to the states of Washington, California, Arizona and Massachusetts. Like the flu, prevention for the virus includes frequent hand washing and avoiding touching the face.
“I think it’s not that big of a deal,” freshman Nathan Doeling said. “If you look at the flu there are thousands of people dying from that, so why aren’t they focusing on the flu?”
The CDC has reported the situation is under control currently, with the World Health Organization, the Chinese government and other agencies working to quell the outbreak.
“Schools should continue to practice normal flu season precautions, hand washing, practice cough etiquette, routine disinfection of high touched surfaces, and excluding children with fever until fever free for 24 hours,” Dresser said. “Schools should not be excluding returning travelers from China.”