Florida A&M University sent a campus-wide email on Jan. 31 suspending all university-related travel to China.
With the email, students and faculty were able to learn more about the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), get answers to frequently asked questions, risks and treatments.
The respiratory disease is spread person-to-person, showing similar symptoms to the flu. Symptoms include coughing, high fever, nausea and diarrhea, gradually turning into a severe case of pneumonia.
William Hyndman, assistant vice president of International Education and Development, talked about the probability of students and faculty in China.
“As of right now, there are no students or faculty members in China right now,” Hyndman said.
Hyndman said that some students and faculty members were planning on going to China in May, but ultimately those plans have been postponed.
The coronavirus advisory email also stated the same information that no students or faculty members are studying or teaching in the country and noted to give more updates on the outbreak.
As of late, there have been no cases of the virus in Florida, but students and faculty should still take precautionary measures to ensure their safety, according to the email.
With any illness spread person-to-person, it is always recommended to cover the mouth when coughing or sneezing, use a tissue, and frequently wash your hands.
The email also advised students not to travel sick, avoid contact, and let the student health clinic know ahead of time if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms. As for faculty, they were recommended contacting their physicians.
Cole Jackson-Porter, a student at FAMU majoring in journalism, also talked about steps he would take not to get sick, and how the airborne virus would affect plans of studying abroad.
“When it comes to studying abroad, I think students should be patient to study abroad until it calms down,” Jackson-Porter said. “I would wash my hands, fist bump, and not touch everything. If this was the case, the school should provide masks to anyone who is sick, so they will not be vulnerable.”
David Benton, a revenue specialist at the Department of Revenue, talked about what the school should do if there were students in China and what he would do if he were teaching abroad.
“Regarding health care and health insurance, I would make sure everything is taken care of, just in case anything does happen like the coronavirus,” Benton said.
With thousands of cases and a high death toll, the virus at last count had spread to 18 countries, including the United States.