UPDATED: Results Negative for Texas A&M Student Tested for Coronavirus
Texas A&M is pleased to share that the Brazos County Health District (BCHD) announced today that negative test results were returned for novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) for the Texas A&M student whose samples were sent to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) last week.
“We are very pleased with this news and grateful to those community caregivers involved for their expertise, proactive action and compassion demonstrated in treating our student,” said Dr. Martha Dannenbaum, director of A&M’s Student Health Services. “We wish to thank the Brazos County Health District, which offered guidance and transparency throughout this case.”
On Thursday, Jan. 23, the BCHD reported that the individual had met CDC criteria for further testing and evaluation after being treated at an area hospital. Texas A&M verified that the individual in question is a graduate student. The Health District held a news conference to provide assessment, including low risk to students and the community. Samples sent to the CDC in Atlanta for testing were returned with negative results on Sunday, Jan. 26.
Chris Meyer, associate vice president for Safety and Security for Texas A&M said the collaboration among local, state and national officials was “immensely helpful in fulfilling our mission of keeping the campus community safe.”
“We are grateful for training and expertise that contributed to handling this case,” he said.
Primary groups involved included the on-campus Texas A&M Emergency Response team and University Infectious Diseases Task Group; Brazos County Health District (BCHD); Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM); and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
Due to HIPAA, FERPA and campus privacy policies, Texas A&M is unable to disclose additional information regarding this student such as residence location or class attendance. The university posted commonly asked questions on the Student Health Services website at https://shs.tamu.edu/ncov.
Dr. Dannenbaum and Mr. Meyer encourage the campus community to continue to be vigilant and sensible by taking basic hygiene precautions, including washing hands in soap and water; sneezing into an elbow; and covering a cough.
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Texas A&M University officials continue to closely monitor updates about the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Texas Department of Health and Human Services and the Brazos County Health District.
The local health officials learned earlier this week about a possible case of the virus involving a student who was treated at an area hospital and is at home under self-quarantine.
State and local health officials said the threat to the campus community and general population is low at this time. The CDC, along with the World Health Organization, are closely monitoring the outbreak in Wuhan, China, and are giving updated guidance to federal, state and local officials.
Texas A&M’s Student Health Services continues to provide up-to-date information on the virus as information becomes available. Following are answers to commonly asked questions.
What is Texas A&M University doing about this possible case at this time?
Texas A&M University, the Brazos County Health District, and SHS are monitoring the situation closely while awaiting test results from the CDC. The TAMU Emergency Response Team is following its existing normal protocols in this situation.
What are symptoms of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?
For the vast majority of people who have had the illness, symptoms were mild (like a cold or flu) and they resolved after several days. Flu like symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and sore throat.
When are the test results expected back from the CDC?
Results are expected by Monday, Jan. 27 and will be communicated by the Brazos County Health District. Texas A&M University will provide additional updates once results are available.
What happens to the students attending Texas A&M University if there is a confirmed case on campus?
If a 2019-nCoV virus is confirmed, then CDC protocols will be followed. Those who have had close contact with the patient will be contacted and monitored by the Brazos County Health District. Texas A&M University will fully support that effort.
What information can you tell me about the student with the possible case of 2019-nCoV?
The student did not visit the Student Health Services facility (A.P. Beutel Health Center) and is self-isolating in their residence. Due to HIPAA, FERPA and campus privacy policies, we are unable to disclose additional information regarding this student such as residence location or class attendance. If necessary, those with close contact with the patient will be contacted and monitored by the Brazos County Health District.
What if I recently traveled and have concerns that I’ve been exposed to 2019-nCoV?
Contact your medical provider. If you’re a student, you can contact Student Health Services at 979-458-8310.
What preventive actions can students take at this time?
- Everyone 6 months and older is encouraged to get a flu shot.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Where can I find updated information?
- For updated information regarding the possible 2019-nCoV in Brazos County, please visit the Brazos County Health District Facebook page. The Department of State Health Services also offers information for the public at its website.
- For information regarding prevention tips, visit the CDC online.
- Travelers can find information on CDC updates and travel notifications at the CDC website.
Media contact: Kelly Brown, 979-845-1264, email@example.com.