A Texas A&M University student was being tested Thursday for a deadly new coronavirus that has sparked health fears around the world, university officials said Thursday.
The man — who recently traveled from Wuhan, China, where the virus is believed to have originated — is isolated at home, said Brazos County Health District officials, who declined to identify him. If the case is confirmed, the officials said they would promptly announce it.
“(Health district) officials have described the immediate health risk to the campus community as low,” Texas A&M said in a statement. Classes will continue as scheduled.
The student’s symptoms appear to be improving, said Dr. Eric Wilke of the Brazos County Health Authority. The man does not need any treatment, Wilke said.
“It’s fortunate that he had mild symptoms,” Wilke said.
His case was identified at a local emergency room, said Wilke, who declined to identify the hospital.
“They (the hospital) approached this very well and feel that there was no significant exposure to other patients at the emergency room,” Wilke said.
If the case is confirmed, investigators will begin to identify and monitor people with whom he came into contact, Wilke said.
People in Brazos County who have traveled to Wuhan, China, and have flu-like symptoms are encouraged to call the health district at 979-361-4440.
On Wednesday, the Mexican government also said there is a possible case of the coronavirus in the border city of Reynosa, across the Rio Grande from McAllen. A 57-year-old Reynosa doctor is being treated for symptoms of the virus. He traveled to China in December to visit family and returned to Mexico in January.
In China, hundreds of people infected with the new virus have fallen ill and 25 have died, The Associated Press reported. The first cases appeared last month in Wuhan, an industrial and transportation hub in central China.
In an unprecedented effort, China has decided to lock down three cities, including Wuhan, that are home to more than 18 million people to try to contain the deadly new viral illness.
The first confirmed case of coronavirus in the United States was a man from Washington state who returned home from a visit to Wuhan on Jan. 15, the AP reported. The man, identified as a Snohomish County resident in his 30s, was in good condition and wasn’t considered a threat to medical staff or the public, health officials said.
Although health officials have begun screening passengers arriving to the United States from Wuhan, they said the virus’ “overall risk to the American public remains low.”
Coronaviruses can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome.
This article contains material from the Associated Press.
News Release: Suspected 2019 Novel Coronavirus Case
January 23, 2020
Brazos County Health District is investigating a suspected case of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The patient traveled from Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus originated. (1/8)