As the total U.S. confirmed cases of coronavirus raises to seven and the illness prompts a health emergency, APU’s Student Health Center advises students


The outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China in mid-December was declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday. 

In an NBC News article, more than 200 fatalities and up to 9,000 confirmed cases of the virus were reported, mostly in China. The virus has spread and 98 other people have been diagnosed in 18 other countries, including the U.S. 

There are two confirmed cases in California and Illinois, one in Washington and one in Arizona, totaling six people that have been diagnosed with the virus, NBC News reported Thursday.  

A seventh U.S. case was confirmed Friday in the Bay Area by Santa Clara County health officials, according to NBC Bay Area

In California, the original two cases were located in Los Angeles County and Orange County on Jan. 26. According to the Orange County Register, the patients who have been diagnosed are receiving medical treatment in isolation. 

The Azusa Pacific Student Health Center emailed students Thursday that there are no known exposures to APU’s Azusa Campus or the city, despite reports of a 3-year-old girl from Azusa being hospitalized with a form of coronavirus. 

According to USA Today, the U.S State Department raised its travel advisory to Level 4 on Thursday with a new message: “Do not travel to China.” The advisory also noted that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning for all of China.

Chinese authorities have suspended all means of transportation to and from Wuhan, and placed restrictions on other activities throughout the country, according to the advisory.  

Common signs of infection of the virus include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, according to the WHO. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death.

“The coronavirus outbreak concerns me because from what we are hearing from the news, a lot of people worldwide are being infected at an alarming rate,” said Matthew Miyagishima, a senior nursing major. “I don’t believe the U.S. is at as much risk for spreading the virus [as] other countries because of our technological advancements in the field of medicine and treatments.” 

There is no vaccination for the virus or specific treatment for the infection but most people with the common human coronavirus symptoms will recover on their own, according to the CDC. 

“This outbreak is very scary most definitely and there needs to be more awareness about the virus and what it does, but it should not be inhibiting people from their daily activities,” said APU junior Oscar Lau. “People should do more research in understanding the virus and its origins, and if people are feeling the symptoms, they should contact the health center right away.”

On Thursday, the CDC reported the first case of person-to-person transmission of the virus in the U.S between a patient and her husband in Chicago. Health officials said the spread between close contact was expected and warned additional cases could appear in the coming weeks, according to NBC News.  

“I do think that there might be a possibility of APU being at risk, but I also do not know too much about the virus and how it has affected people in China,” said junior Jarret Akamatsu. “I know that it has made its way toward Orange County and the way it spreads. I think it can get to anyone, so wash your hands.” 

Despite the confirmed cases in the U.S., according to officials, the risk of the virus spreading in the U.S. remains low. 

“I still think we need to err on the side of caution and be more willing to wash our hands more frequently and be careful around those who may be developing a cold or fever,” Miyagishima said.

Dr. Todd Emerson, Medical Director at APU and the Student Health Center, advised those who recently travelled from China in the last two weeks to limit contact with others for 14 days. 

“The university is proactively working with campus partners, and local and state resources to monitor developments,” the Student Health Center said in an email Thursday.   


2/1/2020, 10:34 AM PST

According to NBC News, an eighth case of coronavirus has been confirmed by health officials in Massachusetts after a man returning from Wuhan, China tested positive for the infection.

2/2/2020, 6:14 PM PST

California has confirmed its sixth case of coronavirus, the 11th for the U.S., after authorities in a Northern California county said Sunday that a married couple tested positive for the virus, according to NBC News. Earlier Sunday, officials in Santa Clara County, also in Northern California, announced that a second case had been confirmed there.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.