As news reports of the coronavirus outbreak in China and a potential case being tested in Ohio begin to circulate, we want to keep you informed. The coronavirus is a respiratory infection with symptoms very similar to a cold or flu — fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, or runny nose. Because the symptoms are the same, the most helpful information is someone’s travel history. Those at risk are people who have traveled to the Wuhan region of China recently or who have been exposed to someone with the virus.

Currently, no students or staff from Shawnee State have traveled to or from this region in recent weeks – and no University-related international travel is scheduled.

Like the flu, the student population is at the lowest risk for any complications from the virus. According to the CDC, those at most risk are the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, such as respiratory illnesses.

Prevention is the same as the flu, too. Students, faculty, staff, and the general public are encouraged to protect themselves from the flu – and other respiratory viruses - by washing your hands often with soap and water, particularly when preparing food, before you eat and after you use the bathroom, after handling cash, and when around anyone who is ill. Remember to cough into your arm or a tissue – and sanitize the surfaces around you this season.

Shawnee State is working with the Portsmouth City Health Department to monitor the coronavirus – as well as the flu. We will continue to share any new information that becomes available.