Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As of January 30, the Novel Coronavirus (or 2019-nCoV) has caused 6,057 infections worldwide. Five of these cases were found in patients in the United States who returned from visiting Wuhan City, China. A new patient has been in a close contact with one of these individuals in Chicago, now bringing the total to six in the U.S. Many airports in the U.S., including JFK, are screening people coming from the Wuhan City area. There is currently a quarantine in that city, preventing anyone from coming into or leaving Wuhan City. It is expected that these actions will help limit the spread of the virus both globally and in the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV is considered low.” However, to increase awareness and prevention of this disease, we are sharing the following information:
  1. If you have been to Wuhan City, China or have been in close contact with someone who has been infected and you have symptoms such as cough, fever, or shortness of breath, it is recommended that you contact the nearest emergency room and go for an evaluation.
  2. There are still no documented cases in New York State. Seven of 10 possible patients were tested and found not to be infected, and three results are still pending.
  3. Given the concern for person-to-person spread, everyone should continue to follow general precautions to avoid becoming infected or spreading the virus by:
    1. Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    2. Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    3. Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
    4. Avoiding travel and contact with others if you are sick.
The physicians and staff at New York Institute of Technology’s Academic Health Centers are available to assist those who are not feeling well. If you have traveled to China in the past 14 days and have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, please call and tell us (or your health care provider) about your recent travel and symptoms. We can be reached at 516.686.1300.


Brian L. Harper M.D., M.P.H.
Chief Medical Officer, NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine