Corona Virus Updates
What are coronaviruses and why are they in the news?
Coronaviruses are a large family of 50+ distinct viruses which are found worldwide and infect both mammals and birds. Four coronaviruses have been circulating amongst humans for years and are believed to cause 20-40% of common cold infections per year. Two other coronaviruses have caused much more serious human illness since 2002: SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.
In December, 2019, a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Symptoms range from a mild respiratory illness with self-limited cough and low-grade fevers, to severe inflammation of the lungs with fluid infiltration, sepsis, and ultimately respiratory and cardiac arrest. Severe cases have primarily been noted in patients over 65 years of age who also have significant underlying chronic illnesses (diabetes, hypertension, cardiac disease, liver disease, etc.). Since December, the number of cases has increased dramatically with spread throughout China and to many countries, including the United States.
There is no vaccine nor any known antiviral treatment for 2019-nCoV, so treatment is primarily supportive care. Mild cases may be treated at home, but severe illness requires hospitalization.
How can I find out more about the current coronavirus outbreak?
For updates on what is known about the virus, illness, and public health issues, please follow these links to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel to China and the US State Department has raised its Travel Advisory for China to Level 4: Do Not Travel due to the coronavirus outbreak. Travel advice is being updated nearly daily, so check these sites frequently if you are planning travel and check with Curry Health Center's International Travel Clinic.
What is the University of Montana doing about this coronavirus outbreak?
- Encouraging students to follow usual precautions for respiratory infections:
- Cover your mouth when coughing, ideally into your elbow and not into your hands
- Frequent hand hygiene with soap and water or sanitizing gels
- Avoid touching your face, especially eyes, nose, and mouth, with unwashed hands
- Stay home when you are sick, but come to our clinic if you feel it is becoming serious
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill
- We are still in the midst of influenza season, so please get your flu shot
- IMPORTANT: If you develop fever; cough and/or difficulty breathing; and in the past 14 days you have visited China or been in close contact with someone who traveled to China, please call us immediately at (406) 243-2122 to discuss your illness and plan for how we will see you at our clinic.
- Upon arrival to our clinic, Medical Reception has masks available for all students that come to Curry with a cough.
- All students visiting Curry Health Center will be asked if they have traveled to China in the last 14 days or had contact with someone who is ill and who has traveled to China in the last 14 days.
- We remain in close contact with Missoula City County Health Department public health officials and check the CDC and WHO websites daily for updates.
- Our Travel Health providers are in close contact with the UM Global Engagement Office to provide advice and assistance to UM students, faculty, and staff who have traveled or will be traveling in the future.