MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — The Coronavirus is causing panic around the world. Latest figures show close to 2,000 people have contracted it in China. More than 50 people have died.
There have been two confirmed cases in the U.S. — one in Washington state, the other in Chicago.
Now, a student at Wesleyan University in Middletown is being tested for it after recently returning from a trip to Asia.
“The student was at a major Asian airport 72 hours before coming back to the United States,” said Dr. Thomas McLarney, director of Wesleyan’s Davison Health Center. “The student was notified by the airline that when the student was in the airport, there was another person in the airport that subsequently was diagnosed with the Coronavirus.”
“Now, was this person sitting next to our student or was this person 20 gates down?” he said. “We’ll never know. So, we have to take this seriously.”
Dr. McLarney says the student showed flu-like symptoms and had a cough.
The university ran tests and sent them to the state department of health and to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. They also put the student in isolation.
“The student is in isolation locally but not in a hospital,” Dr. McLarney said. “From a severity standpoint, the student is doing very well.”
The university notified students and the entire campus community. They are urging people to be extra vigilant with their hygiene.
“Washing hands frequently, as well as good respiratory hygiene,” Dr. McLarney said. “Cough in the crook of the arms as well as not sharing drink bottles.”
The university hopes to get test results back sometime next week to see if the student has the virus. In the meantime, Wesleyan students are wishing him well and for right now, the ones we spoke with on a rainy Saturday night tell us they’re not panicking about this.
“It’s not confirmed yet so I’m glad about that,” said Adam Kielbasa, a Wesleyan student.
“I’m not too concerned,” said Adam Hickey, another Wesleyan student. “I trust the campus doctor and people who have to worry about that not to let it become some sort of crisis.”