FSC monitors coronavirus spread

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The orange represented on this map shows where the coronavirus has spread.

Vanessa Alvarez

COIVD-19, otherwise known as coronavirus, continues to sweep through nations and impact various facets of life including travel and business.  

The disease broke out in China and, according to the New York Times, currently affects 24 other countries with about 400 reported cases. The CDC reports 15 positive cases where COIVD-19 was found in states including Texas, California and Washington. The United States, Spain, Vietnam and Italy are among the 28 locations confirmed to be affected by coronavirus. 

As summer break rapidly approaches, many Florida Southern students are preparing for their Junior Journey to locations currently affected by COIVD-19. These locations include Vietnam, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany which combined have seen a total of roughly 40 positive cases. 

Dr. Mary Crowe, the Assistant Provost for Experimental Education at FSC is continuing to monitor the outbreak by checking the Department of State and Center of Disease Control websites on a daily basis. In terms of monitoring trips, Crowe says it is too early to speak on behalf of May trips, however, she has no concerns about upcoming March Junior Journeys. 

“With respect to the March trips we are not concerned about any specific trips as all of the destinations are to countries that have minimal cases of people (>20 individuals) who have tested positive for the coronavirus,” said Crowe. 

FSC sophomore Connor Bligh will be attending the Spain Junior Journey this upcoming summer and thus far, he has no concerns about his trip. 

“I am worried for my friends that are going on Junior Journeys at the same time to Asia,” Bligh said. “The travel office mentioned it in a recent meeting with students on Junior Journeys this summer, and seem to have a good plan in place. I’m just keeping an eye on any health advisory warnings and seeing if there are any cases in cities we’re visiting.”

On Jan. 31, FSC’s Division of Student Life sent an email to the student body regarding the disease. The school’s administration is closely monitoring the illness and, as of that time, reported no threats to upcoming Junior Journey trips. The school confirmed the Office of Student Travel is monitoring coronavirus and will continue to update students if CDC advisories impact trips. 

Thus far in Florida, there have been no confirmed cases of COIVD-19, however, the Florida Department of Health is closely monitoring the illness alongside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is currently a nationwide level four travel warning for individuals hoping to travel to China. The Florida Department of Health and CDC recommend individuals traveling to China avoid contact with individuals appearing to be ill, avoid animal products and markets, and discuss the upcoming trip with healthcare providers. 

The CDC reports symptoms of coronavirus as fever, cough and shortness of breath. It is believed the symptoms will appear between two days and two weeks after an individual is exposed to the illness. Individuals contracting symptoms after visiting China are encouraged to speak with a doctor as soon as possible. 

Coronavirus was renamed COIVD-19 by the World Health Organization on Feb. 11 and is an acronym that stands for coronavirus disease discovered in 2019. The disease originated in Wuhan, China and was likely passed from animals to humans through a market according to Boston’s NPR News Station, WBUR. The disease is prominently seen in China, however, continues to spread worldwide. CNN reported the disease impacting more than 69,000 people with a rising death toll of 1,669. 

Aside from travel advisories for individuals visiting China, the Florida Department of Health has not set any guidelines or restrictions for Floridians. The department is continuing to track the disease and set proper precautions as needed. 

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