Dear Villanova Community Members,
As you have surely seen in the news, we are writing to provide information about the novel coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China. Yesterday, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global health emergency following its spread from China to more than a dozen other countries. We want to assure you that University health and safety professionals are closely monitoring the situation and making any necessary preparations if the virus were to be reported in this area or on our campus.
Currently, there are no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Pennsylvania or at Villanova; in addition, we have no students studying abroad in China this semester. The risk of the novel coronavirus to the Villanova community is low; however, the Student Health Center is seeing respiratory illnesses that mimic some of the symptoms of the coronavirus. Seasonal influenza remains the predominant issue of the Villanova Student Health Center at this time. Below is information we do want to share about traveling to China and about the virus itself.
The US Department of State has now issued a travel advisory, telling Americans not to travel to China because of the public health threat posed by the coronavirus. It has set the new advisory at Level 4, or red—its highest alert. Therefore, the State Department recommends that any planned travel to China be rescheduled, delayed or cancelled.
Information about the Coronavirus
Coronaviruses are a large and very common family of viruses. Symptoms are often mild, like a cold; however, a new strain of the virus—called a novel coronavirus—was identified in December in Wuhan, China. Human infections with the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) continue to be reported in Wuhan—the outbreak’s epicenter—at a rapid rate. To date, there are only five confirmed cases in the United States. According to the CDC, people with confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus have had symptoms, including fever, cough and shortness of breath, that can range from mild to severe.
For more information about the coronavirus, including specific information on symptoms, complications, transmission, prevention and treatment, you can visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
**The Student Health Center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are faculty or staff, please contact your primary health care provider.
For any questions or concerns about the coronavirus, please contact the Student Health Center directly at 610-519-4070.
We understand that the news of emerging illnesses like the coronavirus can be unsettling. We are paying close attention to any developments in the transmission of the virus and are taking the necessary steps to ensure the health and well-being of our campus community. Our prayers are with those who have been affected and who have family and friends in China.
Patrick G. Maggitti, PhD, Provost
Rev. John Stack, OSA, Vice President for Student Life
Dr. Mary McGonigle, Director, Student Health Center