Billy goes to the market

Q & A

On Friday, Dr. Sean Graham, Assistant Professor of Biology, issued a Q&A segment pertaining to the COVID-19 situation and concerns pertaining to the Sul Ross community.

 There have been a handful of cases and I think the number will go up. I don’t know if it’s transmitting effectively in Texas yet; most of the cases involved people who had recently traveled to China.

 It’s pretty likely it will make its way here, especially with students heading home for spring break and returning from areas where the virus is transmitting.

The CDC is already recommending self-quarantine; if you are sick with upper respiratory symptoms you should stay home for a couple of weeks and keep people informed about your progress but avoid contact with people, especially elderly people. Elderly people are significantly more likely to experience bad cases, and young people are far less vulnerable. This means young people have a responsibility to prevent transmission from themselves to the older population. Sul Ross should make it clear that staying away from campus will not result in any penalty for students, and students should not try to take advantage of the situation by playing hooky. The administration is already talking about making course work available online via blackboard, and it is likely we will shift toward online delivery of classes if this gets bad enough.

Unfortunately it will have an impact. If it starts getting bad enough, they will probably have to cancel travel.

Right now the suggestion is avoiding travel full stop. San Antonio and Houston have had coronavirus cases.

Stay put for a few weeks, avoid contacting people, and avoid travel. According to early epidemiological reports, ~ 1.2 percent of people can be completely asymptomatic. So they don’t feel sick but could potentially spread the virus as carriers.

I think people shouldn’t worry about this from a rural-city perspective; we have sufficient medical facilities for our small population. People should be very careful not to spread this to elderly people, and treat this like you would the ordinary seasonal flu but with slightly more vigilance.

Big Bend Regional Medical Center is doing a fantastic job trying to get information to people and to reduce the fear. I assume they are doing an equally good job getting ready for potential cases.

Right now there are fewer reported cases in Mexico than here. In general people should reduce their travel to reduce the probability of spreading the virus.

Same as those for avoiding the flu; avoid large gatherings, touching people, wash your hands frequently and sufficiently, avoid people who appear sick.

CDC information about COVID-19

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. Follow the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.

The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but is now spreading to people. Monitor the CDC website for more information about how the virus is transmitted.

  • Person to Person: The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • Surfaces: It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of

  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath

If you experience symptoms and have been in contact with a person to have COVID-19 or you live in or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread, seek medical advice by calling to a healthcare professional. Monitor the CDC website for more information about the symptoms or what to do if you experience these symptoms.

People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Monitor the CDC website for more information about how to prevent the virus.

There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.

There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms. Monitor the CDC website for more information about vaccinations and treatments.

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