About the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve quickly in the United States and abroad, with new information and new cases confirmed daily. Syracuse University continues to vigorously monitor and respond to these developments, in close coordination with New York State officials, the New York State Department of Health and the Onondaga County Health Department. The University also continues to review public health and travel advisory guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. State Department. In the face of this rapidly developing global health emergency, our highest priority remains the health and welfare of our students, faculty and staff.
- The coronavirus is actually a family of viruses that affect the respiratory tract, sometimes as mild as a cold or as serious as pneumonia or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Some coronaviruses cause mild problems like a runny nose, cough and sore throat. But a more serious coronavirus was to blame for the SARS epidemic several years ago. The recent coronavirus identified in Wuhan, China is a new virus scientists have never seen before.
- This new coronavirus is essentially a viral pneumonia, with symptoms that include cough, fever and breathing difficulties. For most people, COVID-19 infection will cause mild illness however, it can make some people very ill and, in some people, it can be fatal. Older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease or diabetes) are at risk for severe disease.
- The virus is spread from person to person through saliva or airborne when someone coughs or sneezes. Basic hygiene and prevention measures are the best defense, including frequent handwashing, avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Your health care provider can order laboratory tests to determine if a coronavirus is causing symptoms.
- Like with any viral illness, treatment includes rest, drinking plenty of fluids, a room humidifier to ease the cough or sore throat, and over-the-counter pain or fever medications to relieve symptoms.
For more information on the coronavirus, visit the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) website and Syracuse University Libraries' Research Guide on the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The most important step that can be taken by our campus community is to remain focused on prevention. You can take the following steps to protect yourself and others.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing and disposing immediately of the tissue and performing hand hygiene.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including the coronavirus. In fact, touching your face to put on and take off a mask can increase your risk of infection. Students with cold or flu symptoms who seek medical treatment at the Barnes Center at The Arch (the campus health clinic) will be asked to wear masks. We recommend that anyone experiencing symptoms that do not require medical attention stay home.
Students exhibiting any of the coronavirus symptoms should call the Barnes Center at the Arch at 315.443.8000 and then follow the instructions health professionals there give you. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care physician immediately.