The following email was sent from the president's office to the Missouri State community on January 29, 2020.
Subject: Important information regarding coronavirus
Dear Missouri State University Community,
On Jan. 28, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated travel guidance for China, recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to all of the country. This warning is in response to an ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus spreading between people in many parts of that country.
At this time, there are five confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States. All five illnesses are individuals who had traveled to Wuhan, China, where the virus is believed to have originated. No one on the Missouri State campus has traveled to or returned from Wuhan China in the last several weeks.
There has been no transmission from travelers to others within the United States at this time. Individuals who have not traveled to Wuhan, China, in the last two weeks are considered to be at little to no risk for this illness.
None of the reported cases have any connection to Missouri State University, and none have been diagnosed in Missouri.
The CDC will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as more information becomes available. The CDC travel alerts and the routinely updated situation summary are the best sources of information.
Missouri State cancels travel to China
All university travel to China is cancelled at this time. This directive will be revisited in mid-February.
All domestic and international travelers should be aware that major transportation hubs throughout Asia and in at least 20 major U.S. cities have implemented expanded screenings to prevent the spread of the virus.
Missouri State student travel abroad during the spring semester is generally low; however, the office of study away programs is in touch with known travelers.
The university is currently assessing the status of university-sponsored spring break travel to China and the region.
Practice good disease prevention
Symptoms of this illness are similar to cold or flu symptoms. While there have been deaths associated with this virus—none in the U.S. at this time—there have been far more flu-associated deaths this year (550 in the state of Missouri alone this season).
This is a good reminder to practice cough etiquette, wash your hands, stay home if you are sick and get your flu shot.
Finally, the Chinese New Year festivities planned on campus will be held as we continue to celebrate cultural diversity on campus.
Thank you for your attention to this update.
Dr. Jim Baker
Vice President for Research, Economic Development and International Programs
Dr. Frederick Muegge
Director of Health and Wellness Services