COLLEGE STATION (CBSDFW.COM) – The Brazos County Health Department notified Texas A&M University that a student may have a possible case of novel coronavirus.
In a news release, Texas A&M said it continues to work with its Student Health Services and the Brazos County Health District.
Officials have described the immediate health risk to the campus community as low.
They have not confirmed whether or not the student is the same patient reported earlier with a suspected case of the virus who traveled from Wuhan, China, where the illness originated.
That patient “met the criteria for coronavirus testing and is being kept isolated at home.”
The coronavirus has caused hundreds of illnesses in Wuhan and has reportedly spread to other cities and countries. There’s one confirmed case from a person in Washington state who recently traveled from that area of China.
Airports in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles started screening some passengers for the virus on Friday.
“I think it’s the right thing to do,” said Michael Bigbee, who flies frequently. “The screening’s painless. It’s really quick. It doesn’t slow people down much at all.”
DFW Airport said it is prepared to support the CDC and Tarrant County Public Health Department if screening becomes necessary.
Officials are asking those who have traveled to Wuhan and have flu-like symptoms to call their local health departments. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath and sore throat.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people.
Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, suggesting person-to-person spread is occurring. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people.
The university confirmed the possibility of an infected student in a tweet Thursday afternoon.
— Texas A&M University (@TAMU) January 23, 2020