University of Houston-Victoria

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UPDATE: Coronavirus Health Precautions from UHV Marketing & Communications

Jan. 28, 2020

Dear UHV Faculty, Students and Staff,

The University of Houston-Victoria has been monitoring the emerging outbreak in China of the novel Coronavirus known as 2019-nCoV since its announcement to the public this month. We are working with the UH System to maintain regular contact with local, state and federal health officials for the latest information. Raising awareness and keeping the university community well informed of this rapidly evolving situation is very important. Since the first case was identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, there have been a growing number of reported cases, including several in the United States. No cases have been identified at any UH System campus. There have been no reported cases in Texas at this time. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers this new Coronavirus to be a serious public health threat, it considers the immediate risk to the American public to be low at this time.

UHV continues to monitor the situation, and officials will make a decision regarding the university’s annual summer study abroad trip to China later this spring as more information becomes available.

In regard to this new Coronavirus and general preventive measures, we feel it is important for faculty, staff and students to:

  1. Recognize the symptoms of this illness, which may include a high fever, cough and difficulty breathing, similar to what you may feel with the flu or a bad cold.
  2. Seek care and immediately notify the university if you have recently traveled within China and are experiencing these symptoms.
  3. Always practice good hygiene, wash hands, cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid sharing food, cups or utensils.
  4. Make sure to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and avoid personal contact with sick people.
  5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and shared items.
  6. Get a flu shot.

The incubation period (how soon the symptoms appear from the time of first exposure) for this kind of virus is typically 10 to 14 days. Currently, there are no vaccines to prevent coronavirus infections, including infections with 2019-nCoV.

Seeking care

Those who recently have visited China and are experiencing influenza-like illness, with fever greater than 100.3, and symptoms, including cough, body aches, severe sore throat or runny nose, should consider seeking medical attention for the possibility of the flu, especially if symptoms worsen. Students in the Victoria area can go to the Community Health Centers of South Central Texas if they do not already have a primary care provider. You can contact the center at 361-576-2110 and identify yourself as having flu-like symptoms. If a student does not have transportation, Student Services is available to make travel arrangements by calling 361-570-4430 or by visiting the office in person in UHV University Commons, Suite 2108. Students in the Houston area or other locations should consult with their regular health care providers or seek treatment at a local health center. Faculty and staff who are ill with flu-like symptoms should stay home and contact their personal physicians for further advice.

Travel

UHV encourages faculty, staff and students to heed U.S. government warnings related to travel in China due to the uncertainty about where and how rapidly the virus is spreading, as well as limited capacity to assist travelers impacted by travel disruption or quarantine while abroad. The CDC currently recommends avoiding all nonessential travel to all areas of China. New developments will be available online at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/china#travel-notices. In addition, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Advisory to reconsider travel to China. 

For additional information about Coronavirus, including signs and symptoms, transmission and risk of exposure, and what to do if you are exhibiting symptoms, please refer to the links below. The CDC’s website and Texas Department of State Health Services also will issue guidance for those planning to or who have returned from travel.