Coronavirus risk low: Precautions necessary

The coronavirus is rapidly spreading across the globe. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that at this time the United States has a considerably low health risk when it comes to coronavirus. It is still important to be prepared and take cautionary measures to lower your risk of illness even more than it already is.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause sickness ranging from the common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome, according to the World Health Organization. The virus that is currently spreading is also known as novel coronavirus or COVID-19. The virus is a new strain that has not been previously identified before in humans. COVID-19 has previously only been known to infect animals.

The coronavirus has become a cause for concern globally and as a result, ULM’s Office of Marketing and Communication sent out an email informing students on how to handle the coronavirus should the need arise.

According to Hope Young, ULM’s director of public relations, the university is taking precaution as the virus continues to be a problem around the world.

“The University of Louisiana Monroe is working with the UL system, state and federal authorities to monitor and prepare for a COVID-19 health emergency,” Young said. “ULM will release information as it becomes available.”

Coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. Some confirmed infections, however, displayed little to no symptoms.

As of Feb. 28, there were 19 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States. However, none of those cases are in Louisiana. On Feb. 29, one of the known carriers of coronavirus died in Washington, according to the CDC.

Although the disease was first discovered in Wuhan City, China, Young ensures students that there is no specific target for coronavirus so we must all be aware of our health.

Toni Corso, a junior political science major, recently traveled to South Korea over the fall semester. To her, the stigma that certain races are facing during this outbreak is uncalled for. Instead, Corso said she believes students should seek out correct information instead of becoming fearful.

“I think people here are being very insensitive about the virus. I have multiple friends in South Korea who are being affected by this,” Corso said. “I think it is really important that people stay informed and spread accurate information about the virus.”