Baylor University announced Friday that a possible case of coronavirus is being investigated in a student.
The case was the second being investigated in Texas after officials in Brazos County confirmed Thursday that a Texas A&M student was also being tested for the virus. The Texas Department of State Health Services said Friday evening that there were four cases in Texas being investigated as coronavirus and that one of those has been confirmed to be negative. The DSHS said they would only confirm the locations of those cases if they were positive.
"The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District has notified us that a Baylor student recently in China is being tested for a possible case of coronavirus," the university posted on social media.
The university said in a post on its website that it is waiting for test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, meanwhile, the student has been moved to an isolated room on campus as a precaution and in accordance with the CDC guidelines.
Kelly Craine with the Waco- McLennan County Health District says epidemiologists have been in consistent contact with the CDC since Thursday.
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“When it’s new like this we have a lot to learn,” said Craine.
She says critical decisions were made when the county received the call.
“One of the things we wanted to know is, is this a case that we should sample and send in. And the second was how do we make sure this is done properly,” she said.
Tests and labs and were sent off to Atlanta, and the student voluntarily self-isolated.
“Basically, what that means is to avoid crowds,” said Craine. “Stay by yourself generally if you’re not feeling well. Not interact and go out into public. And if you have to, wear a face mask.”
While results are pending, Craine says students and others throughout the county should be aware, not panicked.
The university went on to say that, "public health officials say the immediate health risk to the BU campus community is low."
Baylor set up a call center for students and parents who have questions, the number is 888-283-2158.
Concerned students can contact Baylor Health Services at 254-710-1010 or Health_Services@baylor.edu. The university set up a call center at 888-283-2158 for students or parents who have questions or concerns.
Baylor University in Waco is 100 miles south of Dallas-Fort Worth on Interstate 35.
The first case of coronavirus in the United States was announced on Jan. 21. In that case, the patient, in Seattle, had also recently traveled to Wuhan, China. Hundreds of cases have been confirmed in Wuhan and elsewhere in China.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has travel to Wuhan, China at a Level 2: Practice Enhanced Precautions, advising travelers that preliminary information suggests older adults with underlying health conditions may be at an increased risk of infection. Read more from the CDC here. Others recommend all nonessential travel to Wuhan be avoided.
The general public is encouraged to practice general preventive actions to avoid infection, including those practices used to avoid the flu.
Tips for Avoiding the Flu
- Get a flu vaccine every season, especially people at high risk
- Wash your hands often with soap and water
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home when you are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- If you're experiencing flu symptoms, visit your doctor and begin taking antiviral medications to help you recover more quickly