CIEE Global Health Alert – 2019-nCoV

Wed, 01/29/2020

There is an ongoing outbreak of a novel (new) coronavirus (2019 – nCoV) which began in Wuhan, China in December 2019.  There are at least 6,000 confirmed cases of the virus globally, a vast majority of which are in Hubei province, China. Media reports also indicate that 132 deaths have occurred in China. Additional cases of the virus have also been detected in Hong Kong, Thailand, Macau, Australia, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, France, Vietnam, Cambodia, Canada, Nepal, Germany, Sri Lanka, and the United States according to media reports.  Symptoms of the virus include cough, fever and respiratory difficulties.

On the afternoon of 27 January, the U.S. Department of State raised its Travel Advisory Level for China to “Level 3 - Reconsider Travel.”  Immediately following that, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) raised its Health Alert for China to “Warning Level 3 - Avoid Nonessential Travel”.  All CIEE participants are advised against traveling to China at this time.

Additionally, CIEE has advised all participants throughout the world to follow the following prevention recommendations from the CDC:

“There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

•             Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

•             Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

•             Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

•             Stay home when you are sick.

•             Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

•             Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses.

People who think they may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV should contact your healthcare provider immediately.”

CIEE has no reports of any participants or staff contracting this virus to date.  CIEE participants are advised to closely monitor the latest developments, as the situation remains fluid.  Participants are also advised to adhere to all national and international public health directives and those exhibiting symptoms of the virus are advised to seek medical attention immediately.