IssuesLocal NewsUPDATE: Texas A&M Student Treated for Potential Case of Coronavirus Has Tested Negative

A student of Texas A&M University is being treated in Brazos County for what could be coronavirus. Health officials maintain that students and those on campus have a low risk of contracting the virus.
January 24, 2020
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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Friday, January 24. It has been updated on Monday, January 27 to reflect new information.

After announcing on Thursday that a Texas A&M student who recently traveled to Wuhan, China, was being tested for the coronavirus, Brazos County health officials announced on Sunday that the test results came back negative.

“We are very pleased with this news and grateful to those community caregivers involved for their expertise, proactive action and compassion demonstrated in treating our student,” Director of A&M’s Student Health Services Dr. Martha Dannenbaum said.

“We wish to thank the Brazos County Health District, which offered guidance and transparency throughout this case,” she continued.

To date, nearly 3,000 cases of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), as it is come to be known, have been reported in China thus far, and five confirmed cases have been reported in the U.S. 

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Symptoms of the respiratory illness often resemble that of a common cold or the flu with a cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, and fever. 

According to Brazos County Health Authority Dr. Eric Wilke, the student arrived at a local emergency room on Wednesday night with symptoms conducive to an upper respiratory infection. 

Once it was discovered that the student had traveled to Wuhan, China, in the 14-day window of potential contraction, the hospital reportedly contacted the Brazos County Health District immediately.

Before test results were officially confirmed, the health district and Texas A&M University both said that students and those in the Bryan/College Station area were at low risk of contracting the virus. 

No antiviral treatment currently exists for the coronavirus though symptoms can be controlled through medical care, according to Dr. Wilke. 

The best way to avoid contracting the illness is by sanitizing one’s hands, avoiding contact with sick individuals, and frequently disinfecting surfaces. 

Those who have had a flu shot are generally at a lower risk of contraction. 

At least eight cities in the Hubei province of China have been shut down and celebratory events for the Lunar New Year in Beijing have been canceled. 

Cases of the virus have also been reported in Thailand, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. 

Despite reports and headlines of emerging cases of the virus in areas outside of China, the World Health Organization (WHO) has not declared a global health emergency. 

Earlier today, test results for a student at Baylor University exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus came back negative, meaning no confirmed cases of the virus currently exist in Texas.

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Sarah McConnell

Sarah McConnell

Sarah McConnell is a reporter for The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Cyber Security Consultant after serving as a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security – Citizenship and Immigration Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas A&M as well as her Master of Public Service and Administration degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. In her free time, Sarah is an avid runner, jazz enthusiast, and lover of all things culinary.