COVID-19: Previous Communications

A Message from Our Chief Medical Officer:
Novel Coronavirus Update #9

March 2, 2020

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Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

New York Institute of Technology continues to closely monitor reports on COVID 19 from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The safety and well-being of the New York Tech community is our No. 1 priority, and our team of administrators and health professionals are meeting daily to ensure that the university is informed and prepared for any circumstances.

The following is an update on CDC information as well as precautions to take if you are feeling ill or to avoid the spread infection:

Update

As of March 2, 2020, COVID 19 has caused 89,198 confirmed infections worldwide and 3,048 confirmed deaths. This is a case fatality rate of approximately 3.4%, which is subject to change as time progresses.

Of these cases, 89 have been found in patients in the U.S. as a result of the return of citizens who were infected overseas, and 24 cases have been reported in Canada. In the U.S., there have been two deaths in the state of Washington, and there is now one reported case in New York City. This is reportedly an individual who returned from Iran, which is considered a high-risk area. Based on reports worldwide, it appears that the elderly and those with chronic diseases are more likely to become ill from this disease. The CDC’s current risk assessment is as follows:

  • For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.
  • People in communities where ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated though still relatively low risk of exposure.
  • Health care workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Those in close contact with persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure.

If you have been to any high-risk area as determined by the CDC or have been in close contact with someone who has been infected and you have symptoms such as cough, fever, shortness of breath, it is recommended that you contact the nearest emergency room and go for an evaluation.

Precautions

We must all remain vigilant to assure that any possible transmission is limited. Therefore, as the CDC recommends, “Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.” Other symptoms include cough, sneezing, and shortness of breath.

These recommendations apply to all students as well: Students with a fever should notify their instructors via phone, email, or text messages that they are not feeling well and determine how the material missed in a class can be made up or substituted.

Given that it is likely that we will eventually have more transmission within the U.S., we should all develop better personal hygiene habits. Everyone should continue to follow general precautions to avoid becoming infected or spreading the virus include 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 travelling and contact with others if you are sick.

This video describes good handwashing technique.

Resources

In addition to your local resources, the physicians and staff at the Academic Health Centers are available to answer questions and assist those who are not feeling well. We can be reached at 516.686.1300.

It is also understandable that members of our New York Tech community may have concerns about a new and unfamiliar illness. If you are feeling anxious or uneasy, please reach out to Counseling and Wellness Services at our campuses in Long Island (516.686.7683) or New York City (212.261.1773) to talk or make an appointment, or stop by during the drop-in hours indicated on the Counseling and Wellness Services web page.

Sincerely,

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


A Message from Our Chief Medical Officer:
Novel Coronavirus Update #8

February 27, 2020

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Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As of February 26, 2020, COVID 19 has caused 81,280 confirmed infections worldwide and 2,770 confirmed deaths. This is a case fatality rate of approximately 3%, which is subject to change. Of the total cases of infection, 57 are patients in the U.S. (as a result of the return of citizens who were infected overseas) and 11 were cases in Canada. Despite increased media coverage and concern surrounding COVID 19's impact on global and local markets in the past week, there are still no documented cases in New York City or New York State. The U.S. policy still remains the same.

The potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, both globally and to the United States. Nonetheless, there has been no change by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CD), which still concludes, "For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from COVID 19 is considered low."

However, we must all remain vigilant to assure that possible transmission is limited. As it is likely there will be more transmission within the U.S., we have a window of opportunity to develop better personal hygiene habits. Therefore:

  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. Everyone should continue to follow general precautions to avoid becoming infected or spreading this (or any other) 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 travelling and contact with others if you are sick.

These actions will not only help prevent the spread of COVID 19, but also the spread of the influenza virus, which is still considered to be a greater threat of sickness and death in the U.S. The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 29 million flu illnesses, 280,000 hospitalizations and 16,000 deaths from flu. Hospitalization rates among children and young adults are higher than in the past and 105 influenza-associated deaths in children have been reported so far this season. Therefore, it is still recommended that you get a flu vaccine this year.

In addition to your local resources, the physicians and staff at the Academic Health Centers are available to answer questions and assist those who are not feeling well. We can be reached at 516.686.1300.

It is also understandable that members of our New York Tech community may have concerns about a new and unfamiliar illness. If you are feeling anxious or uneasy, please reach out to Counseling and Wellness Services at our campuses in Long Island (516.686.7683) or New York City (212.261.1773) to talk or make an appointment, or stop by during the drop-in hours indicated on the Counseling and Wellness Services web page.

Sincerely,

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


A Message from Our Chief Medical Officer:
Novel Coronavirus Update #7

February 20, 2020

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Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As of February 19, 2020, the Novel Coronavirus is now officially called COVID 19 by the World Health Organization, It has caused 75,280 confirmed infections worldwide and 2,014 confirmed deaths. This is a case fatality rate of approximately 2.7%, which is subject to change as time progresses. For comparison, the Ebola virus and the virus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) each had a case fatality rate of roughly 40%.

To date, 15 COVID 19 cases have been found in patients in the U.S. and eight in Canada. There are still no documented cases in New York City or New York State.

The U.S. policy remains the same:

  1. Any U.S. citizen returning to the U.S. who has been in Hubei Province in the previous 14 days will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine to ensure they’re provided proper medical care and health screening.
  2. Any U.S. citizen returning to the U.S. who has been in the rest of mainland China within the previous 14 days will undergo proactive entry health screening at a select number of ports of entry and up to 14 days of monitored self-quarantine to ensure they have not contracted the virus and do not pose a public health risk.
  3. Foreign nationals, other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled to China within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the U.S. for this time.
  4. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) are continuing to identify and screen travelers who have recently been in China at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and other airports in the U.S.

There has been no change by the CDC, which still concludes, “For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from COVID 19 is considered low.” However, we must all remain vigilant to assure that any possible transmission is limited. Therefore:

  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. Everyone should continue to follow general precautions to avoid becoming infected or spreading this (or any other) 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 travelling and contact with others if you are sick.

These actions will not only help prevent the spread of COVID 19, but also the spread of the influenza virus, which is still considered to be a greater threat of sickness and death in the U.S.! The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 22 million flu illnesses; 210,000 hospitalizations; and 12,000 deaths. Hospitalization rates among children and young adults are higher than in the past, and 78 influenza-associated deaths in children have been reported so far this year. Therefore, it is still recommended that you get a flu vaccine this year.

Available Resources

In addition to your local resources, the physicians and staff at the Academic Health Centers are available to answer questions and assist those who are not feeling well. We can be reached at 516.686.1300.

It is also understandable that members of our New York Tech community may have concerns about a new and unfamiliar illness. If you are feeling anxious or uneasy, please reach out to Counseling and Wellness Services at our campuses in Long Island (516.686.7683) or New York City (212.261.1773) to talk or make an appointment, or stop by during the drop-in hours indicated on the Counseling and Wellness Services web page.

Sincerely,

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


A Message from Our Chief Medical Officer:
Novel Coronavirus Update #6

February 14, 2020

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Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As of February 13, 2020, the Novel Coronavirus (or 2019-nCoV) has now caused 60,364 confirmed infections worldwide and 1,370 confirmed deaths (case fatality rate of 2.2%). Fifteen of these cases have been found in patients in the U.S. and seven in Canada. There are still no documented cases in New York City or New York State; no results are currently pending. Of the 135 people who tested positive on the quarantined cruise ship The Diamond Princess, 20 are American.

The U.S. policy still remains the same:

  1. Any U.S. citizen returning to the U.S. who has been in Hubei Province in the previous 14 days will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine, to ensure they’re provided proper medical care and health screening.
  2. Any U.S. citizen returning to the U.S. who has been in the rest of mainland China within the previous 14 days will undergo proactive entry health screening at a select number of ports of entry and up to 14 days of monitored self-quarantine to ensure they have not contracted the virus and do not pose a public health risk.
  3. Foreign nationals, other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled to China within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the U.S. for this time.
  4. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) are continuing to identify and screen travelers who have recently been in China at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and other airports in the U.S.

Precautions

There has been no change by the CDC that still concludes: “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, we must all remain vigilant to assure that any possible transmission is limited. Therefore:

  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. Everyone should continue to follow general precautions to avoid becoming infected or spreading the virus, including:
    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 travelling and contact with others if you are sick.

Influenza Information

These actions will not only help prevent the spread of the 2019-nCoV, but also the spread of the influenza virus, which is still considered to be a greater threat of sickness and death in the U.S.! The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 22 million flu illnesses, 210,000 hospitalizations, and 12,000 deaths. Hospitalization rates among children and young adults are higher than in the past, and 78 influenza-associated deaths in children have been reported so far this year. Therefore, it is still recommended that you get a flu vaccine this year.

Available Resources

In addition to your local resources, the physicians and staff at the Academic Health Centers are available to answer questions and assist those who are not feeling well. We can be reached at 516.686.1300.

It is also understandable that members of our New York Tech community may have concerns about a new and unfamiliar illness. If you are feeling anxious or uneasy, please reach out to Counseling and Wellness Services at our campuses in Long Island (516.686.7683) or New York City (212.261.1773) to talk or make an appointment, or stop by during the drop-in hours indicated on the Counseling and Wellness Services web page.

Sincerely,

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

A Message from Our Chief Medical Officer:
Novel Coronavirus Update #5

February 11, 2020

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Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As of February 10, 2020, the Novel Coronavirus (or 2019-nCoV) has now caused 40,574 confirmed infections worldwide and 910 confirmed deaths (case fatality rate of 2%). Twelve of these cases have been found in patients in the U.S. and seven in Canada. There are still no documented cases in New York City or New York State, while the results are still pending for one patient in New York City who has met the criteria for further testing of this new virus by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The other five New York City resident test results have come back negative (no disease). Of the 135 people who tested positive on the quarantined cruise ship, The Diamond Princess, 20 are Americans.

The U.S. policy still remains the same:

  1. Any U.S. citizen returning to the U.S. who has been in Hubei Province in the previous 14 days will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine, to ensure they’re provided proper medical care and health screening.
  2. Any U.S. citizen returning to the U.S. who has been in the rest of mainland China within the previous 14 days will undergo proactive entry health screening at a select number of ports of entry and up to 14 days of monitored self-quarantine to ensure they have not contracted the virus and do not pose a public health risk.
  3. Foreign nationals, other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled to China within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the U.S. for this time.
  4. The CDC and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) are continuing to identify and screen travelers who have recently been in China at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and other airports in the U.S.

There has been no change by the CDC, which still concludes: “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, we must all remain vigilant to assure that any possible transmission is limited. Therefore:

  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, shortness of breath, it is recommended that you contact the nearest Emergency Room and go for an evaluation.
  2. Everyone should continue to follow general precautions to avoid becoming infected or spreading the virus include 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 travelling and contact with others if you are sick.
  3. These actions will not only help prevent the spread of the 2019-nCoV, but also the spread of the influenza virus which is still considered to be a greater threat of sickness and death in the U.S.!

In addition to your local resources, the physicians and staff at the Academic Health Centers are available to answer questions and assist those who are not feeling well. We can be reached at 516.686.1300.

It is also understandable that members of our New York Tech community may have concerns about a new and unfamiliar illness. If you are feeling anxious or uneasy, please reach out to Counseling and Wellness Services at our campuses in Long Island (516.686.7683) or New York City (212.261.1773) to talk or make an appointment, or stop by during the drop-in hours indicated on the Counseling and Wellness Services web page.

Sincerely,

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


A Message from Our Chief Medical Officer:
Novel Coronavirus Update #4

February 7, 2020

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Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As of February 6, 2020, the Novel Coronavirus (or 2019-nCoV) has now caused 28,344 confirmed infections worldwide and 565 confirmed deaths (case fatality rate of 2%). Twelve of these cases have been found in patients in the U.S. and five in Canada. There are still no documented cases in New York City or New York State, but the results are still pending for five patients in New York City who have met the criteria for further testing of this new virus by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The U.S. policy still remains the same:

  1. Any U.S. citizen returning to the U.S. who has been in Hubei Province in the previous 14 days will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine to ensure they are provided proper medical care and health screening.
  2. Any U.S. citizen returning to the U.S. who has been in the rest of mainland China within the previous 14 days will undergo proactive entry health screening at a select number of ports of entry and up to 14 days of monitored self-quarantine to ensure they have not contracted the virus and do not pose a public health risk.
  3. Foreign nationals, other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled to China within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the U.S. at this time.
  4. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) are continuing to identify and screen travelers who have recently been in China at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and other airports in the U.S.

There has been no change by the CDC that still concludes, "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, we must all remain vigilant to assure that any possible transmission is limited. Therefore:

  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, shortness of breath, it is recommended that you contact the nearest Emergency Room and go for an evaluation.
  2. Everyone should continue to follow general precautions to avoid becoming infected or spreading the virus, including:
    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 travelling and contact with others if you are sick.
  3. These actions will not only help prevent the spread of the 2019-nCoV, but also the spread of the influenza virus, which is still considered to be a greater threat of sickness and death in the U.S.!

In addition to your local resources, the physicians and staff at the Academic Health Centers are available to answer questions and assist those who are not feeling well. We can be reached at 516.686.1300.

It is also understandable that members of our New York Tech community may have concerns about a new and unfamiliar illness. If you are feeling anxious or uneasy, please reach out to Counseling and Wellness Services at our campuses in Long Island (516.686.7683/7703/1300) or New York City (212.261.1773/1755) to talk or make an appointment, or stop by during the drop-in hours indicated on the Counseling and Wellness Services web page.

Sincerely,

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


A Message from Our Chief Medical Officer:
Novel Coronavirus Update #3

February 3, 2020

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Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As of February 3, 2020, the Novel Coronavirus (or 2019-nCoV) has caused 17,489 confirmed infections worldwide and 362 confirmed deaths (case fatality rate of 2%). Eleven of these cases have been found in patients in the U.S. and four in Canada. There are still no documented cases in New York State; results are still pending for three patients in New York City who have met the criteria for further testing of this new virus by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There have been significant policy changes in the United States in response to this new virus. Effective Sunday, February 2, 2020, the U.S. government has implemented temporary movement and monitoring restrictions on certain individuals:

  1. Any U.S. citizen returning to the U.S. who has been in Hubei Province in the previous 14 days will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine to ensure they are provided proper medical care and health screening.
  2. Any U.S. citizen returning to the U.S. who has been in the rest of mainland China within the previous 14 days will undergo proactive entry health screening at a select number of ports of entry and up to 14 days of monitored self-quarantine to ensure they have not contracted the virus and do not pose a public health risk.
  3. Foreign nationals, other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled to China within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the U.S. at this time.
  4. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) are continuing to identify and screen travelers who have recently been in China at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and other airports in the U.S.

There has been no change by the CDC, which still concludes that "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, we must all remain vigilant to assure that any possible transmission is limited. Therefore:

  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 there for an evaluation.
  2. Everyone should continue to follow general precautions to avoid becoming infected or spreading the virus, including:
    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 travelling and contact with others if you are sick.
  3. These actions will not only help prevent the spread of the 2019-nCoV, but also the spread of the influenza virus, which is still considered to be a greater threat of sickness and death in the U.S.!

In addition to your local resources, the physicians and staff at New York Institute of Technology's Academic Health Centers are available to answer questions and assist those who are not feeling well. We can be reached at 516.686.1300.

Sincerely,

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


A Message from Our Chief Medical Officer:
Novel Coronavirus Update #2 (Vancouver Campus)

January 31, 2020

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Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As of January 30, the Novel Coronavirus (or 2019-nCoV) has caused 8,235 infections worldwide and 171 deaths. Three cases were found in patients in Canada who returned from visiting Wuhan City, China. A new patient has been in 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. and Canada 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 North America. According to the U.S. 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.”

The BCCDC is posting updates for the BC community on its website; to increase awareness and prevention of this disease, we are also 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 in New York are also 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. We are also posting updates and information on the coronavirus on our web page.

>Sincerely,

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


A Message from Our Chief Medical Officer:
Novel Coronavirus Update #2 (NY Campuses)

January 31, 2020

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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.

Sincerely,

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


A Message from Our Chief Medical Officer:
Novel Coronavirus Update #1

January 24, 2020

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Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

The Novel Coronavirus (or 2019-nCoV), recently discovered in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, has caused more than 300 cases of pneumonia worldwide. As of today, two cases in the U.S. have been documented in patients who visited Wuhan City. In an effort to increase awareness and prevention of this disease, we are sharing the following information:

Overview
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that generally circulate among animals. On occasion, they evolve, infect people, and spread. Two other examples are the causative agents of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). With SARS, MERS, and the Novel Coronavirus, an organism is thought to be transmitted via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes near a person in close contact (similar to how a flu virus is transmitted). In the case of the Novel Coronavirus, there appears to be limited spread from person to person. Since this is a new disease, limited epidemiological information is available. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consider this to be a very serious public health threat, but based on current information, the immediate health risk to the general American public is considered low. Passengers coming to the U.S. from Wuhan City are being evaluated at airports nationwide, including JFK in New York. The CDC advises people to avoid nonessential travel to Wuhan City, China at this time.

Symptoms
Symptoms can result from infections of the upper or lower respiratory tract, including runny nose, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, coughing, fever, and pneumonia. If you have any of these symptoms and have been traveling or in contact with someone who has been in the Asia-Pacific region, it is recommended that you seek medical attention immediately.

Treatment and Prevention
Novel Coronavirus pneumonia is caused by a virus. Therefore, there are no cures, and antibiotics are ineffective. Medical treatment consists of rest, fluids, and supportive care. Vaccines are the only preventive measure for viruses, and unfortunately, the development of a vaccine takes a considerable amount of time. Accordingly, the most effective strategy for prevention is limiting the exposure to 2019-nCoV. General precautions to avoid becoming infected or spreading the virus include:

  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoiding traveling and contact with others when 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.

Sincerely,

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



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