What is the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?
Coronaviruses are common, and there are seven known strains that infect humans. The newest strain, 2019-nCoV, was recently discovered in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The outbreak has been covered extensively in media stories. The virus presents as a respiratory illness in humans, and in many reported cases, causes relatively mild symptoms that are similar to those of influenza or the common cold. To date, there have been 16 cases confirmed in the U.S. and none in North Carolina. There is no medicine to treat the virus specifically yet because it is so new. For this reason, it is important to take necessary steps in prevention.
Information about cases being monitored at Charlotte Douglas International Airport: UNC Charlotte is following the reports of four individuals being monitored for coronavirus at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport after arriving from China. It is reported these individuals voluntarily entered quarantine, and they have not been diagnosed with the virus. They are being closely monitored by local health officials. At this time, there is no reason to believe there is a larger risk to the Charlotte community or the campus.
What the University is doing
It is important to remember that no member of the campus community has reported any symptoms of the virus. However, out of an abundance of caution, the University is currently taking the following steps:
- Closely monitoring the situation: University personnel are in close contact with state health officials and are engaging in weekly meetings to assess international, national and local updates on the virus outbreak. UNC Charlotte has established protocols to respond to infectious diseases. We are prepared to act quickly in the event there are reports of symptoms of or exposure to the virus by our faculty, staff or students.
- Implementing extra steps in dining facilities: Chartwells, our dining partner, has proactively implemented several measures and best practices, including additional cleaning and sanitization of dining facilities.
- Additional screening in health center: The Student Health Center has implemented additional screening procedures for any individual indicating travel to China within the last 30 days.
- Contacting those with scheduled travel: All students and employees with scheduled University-sponsored travel to China are being contacted to discuss appropriate next steps.
What you can do
- Remain calm: Most reported cases of the virus have been mild, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) believes the risk to the U.S. from the virus is low.
- Practice good hygiene: Wash your hands, sneeze and cough into your sleeve (not hand), and avoid sharing food, cups or utensils. This also helps prevent the spread of influenza and colds.
- Be informed: Review the Centers for Disease Control’s information about coronavirus and the University's FAQ page.
- For most people who have had the illness, symptoms lessened after several days. The symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and sore throat.
- Report symptoms: If you have traveled to any of the affected areas in China and believe you are exhibiting symptoms, please seek medical care as soon as possible and contact the University’s Student Health Center at 704-687-7400. This includes faculty and staff.
- Avoid non-essential travel to China: The CDC has issued a Level 3 travel warning for China, discouraging any non-essential travel to the area.
This page was last updated on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020.