Coronavirus spreads near Connecticut

The Massachusetts Department of Health confirmed a case of the coronavirus in Boston on Feb.1. 

A man contracted the virus through a visit to Wuhan, China and returned to the University of Massachusetts to immediately contact health officials. 

Concerns are low, as the man is recovering at home and doctors are monitoring all people he physically contacted. This situation remains only one out of 11 cases in America and US officials have declared a public health emergency. 

“I am kinda worried because it spreads really easily,” Elle Desmarteau ’22 said. “I don’t want it to come to Westport or I will leave.” 

The World Health Organization confirmed 20,000 cases of the new coronavirus as of Feb. 3, with the majority of cases arising in Wuhan, China. 

The new coronavirus, due to virus 2019-nCoV, is a respiratory illness. The disease is spread similarly to the flu, through actions such as coughing or sneezing. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there has been a range of reactions from no symptoms to severe illness or death. The symptoms surface between two days and two weeks after exposure.

Although the virus has spread, health experts assure that the general public is fairly safe. The chances of contact with infected persons are low, as the disease is well-contained within the US, and there are a variety of simple precautions people can take to protect themselves.

I don’t want it to come to Westport or I will leave

— Elle Desmarteau ’22

Yet, some students remain anxious. 

“[The virus] is really affecting people that are elderly or have compromised immune systems,” Staples nurse Kris McGrath said. “The best thing to do is just continually wash your hands and get enough sleep.”