Dear faculty and staff,
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned Americans to prepare for the spread of the novel coronavirus. As with any severe health issue or epidemic, Bradley University is following the outbreak closely and preparing for any impact it might have on our campus and the Bradley family.
First and foremost, there are no cases of the virus in central Illinois and no suspected cases of the virus on Bradley’s campus. We are not canceling classes or operations at this time.
Bradley is in contact with students and employees who are participating in the Semester Abroad programs. We are working closely with the agencies overseeing these programs to inform everyone of the latest updates.
What is it?
2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV or COVID-19) is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Since then, the virus has been identified in multiple countries, including cases in the United States. The virus has been designated SARS-CoV-2, while the disease it causes has been designated COVID-19. Because it is so widespread, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a public health emergency.
Again, there are no cases of the virus in central Illinois as of February 28.
What are the symptoms?
The virus may cause severe illness; however, the complete clinical picture is not fully understood. Symptoms are quite generic but include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The CDC believes at this time that symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, including illness resulting in death. Because symptoms are so generic, a diagnosis will also take into consideration your personal travel history as well as whether you have had contact with someone who has traveled to a specific area of concern within 14 days and has a cough and fever.
What is the treatment?
Since there is currently no vaccine to prevent infection, the best method of prevention is to avoid exposure to this virus. The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions including:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always washing hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Staying home when you are sick.
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe, preferable those with bleach.
As with any illness, if you are feeling sick, contact your primary care physician. If you are contagious STAY HOME.
Bradley has launched a website where you can learn more about the virus, symptoms, treatments and frequently asked questions.
Dr. Jessica Higgs, Director of Health Services at Bradley, is involved with and in continual contact with the Illinois Department of Public Health, CDC and American College Health Association. The University emergency response team continues to monitor announcements from these organization and are preparing for issues that may arise.
–Sent to Faculty and Staff on 02/28/2020
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