As the number of Coronavirus cases and deaths continue to rise, FIU is taking steps to reduce the possibility that members of the university community will be impacted by this disease. This coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a serious respiratory illness that has caused as many as 100 deaths, sparking growing global concern.
On Monday, FIU cancelled a study abroad program for seven students who were in China this semester. The university is working with the students to facilitate their return home this week. They will continue the semester in South Florida and their studies should not be negatively impacted.
In addition, we had four faculty members in China. One has returned; the other three are making their way back as well. They will teach online this spring.
FIU’s hospitality management program in Tianjin is being modified so that students can continue their studies online over the next few weeks, since the Tianjin University of Commerce campus, which is home to the FIU program, is closed indefinitely.
Anyone returning from China is being screened at the airport upon entering the U.S. They will be asked to monitor their health closely over the next 7 to 14 days.
Members of the university community who have returned from China in the last two weeks are asked to monitor their health. Anyone feeling ill – headache, cough, fever – must seek medical attention immediately. Please call ahead to advise the doctor’s office of the recent travel. This virus is dangerous and highly contagious.
If you have been in contact with friends or family who have returned from China, please be alert to any developing symptoms as well.
Everyone should take several precautionary steps used routinely to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. These include:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Remain at home when you are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Cover your mouth when coughing and nose when sneezing with a tissue, and then dispose of the tissue in the trash
- Disinfect objects and surfaces you touch often
Any member of the university community with non-essential upcoming travel to China should consider postponing it. Please note that the U.S. State Department has issued a travel advisory.
Students with concerns may contact FIU Student Health Services at 305-348-2401. Faculty, staff and other members of the community may contact FIU Health at 305-348-3627(DOCS).
FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine Infectious Diseases Professor Dr. Aileen Marty works with the World Health Organization and has responded to other disease outbreaks around the world. Dr. Marty shared some thoughts about the current outbreak.