BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — A student at Texas A&M may have contracted the 2019 novel coronavirus, the university confirmed Thursday afternoon.
The Brazos County Health District is investigating the suspected case of coronavirus in the student who traveled from Wuhan, China, where it originated.
The student is being isolated at home while precautionary testing is done, ABC affiliate KVUE reported.
"Officials have described the immediate health risk to the campus community as low," Texas A&M said in a statement.
News Release: Suspected 2019 Novel Coronavirus Case— BrazosCo Health District (@BrazosCoHD) January 23, 2020
January 23, 2020
Brazos County Health District is investigating a suspected case of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The patient traveled from Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus originated. (1/8)
The only other known U.S. case is in Washington state where a man in his 30s was diagnosed after returning from a trip to Wuhan.
The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has sickened hundreds of people in Wuhan before spreading to other Asian cities.
Three U.S. airports, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, are screening passengers for the virus on flights from southeast Asia. Two more, Atlanta and Chicago, could be added to the list.
The virus can cause flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, headache, shortness of breath and sore throat.
There is no current vaccine for the coronavirus but researchers at UTMB in Galveston are working on one.
On Thursday, China closed off three cities of more than 18 million people combined in an unprecedented effort to try to contain a deadly new viral illness that has sickened hundreds and spread to other cities and countries in the Lunar New Year travel rush.
In addition to Wuhan, the apparent epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, China is trying to lock down the city of Huanggang. Reuters reports authorities there have ordered indoor entertainment venues to close and are asking citizens not to leave other than under special circumstances. Huanggang is home to about seven million people.
Similar measures were set to take effect in the nearby city of Ezhou, home to about one million residents, according to the New York Times.