A student at Texas A&M University is being tested for possible infection with the new coronavirus, officials at the Brazos County Health District said Thursday.
The patient traveled to Wuhan, China where the virus originated. After returning, the student developed mild symptoms and went to a local emergency room.
“The patient had traveled to the area of concern, developed mild symptoms after returning, was improving and doing well, but out of concern presented for evaluation,” Brazos County Health Authority Dr. Eric Wilke said at a press conference. “We’ve been in contact with the patient today as well and are tracking and fortunately, [the patient’s] symptoms are not severe.”
He said a sample has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laboratory in Atlanta for testing. Wilke said he expects the results to be available over the weekend or on Monday.
Officials say the health risk on the campus is low, and that the student is “self-isolated.”
Wilke said if it’s a confirmed case then they will begin contact tracing to determine who the patient came in contact with.
News Release: Suspected 2019 Novel Coronavirus Case
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)
— BrazosCo Health District (@BrazosCoHD) January 23, 2020
Symptoms of the new coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV, include fever, coughing and shortness of breath, according to the CDC. Officials say those who have traveled to Wuhan, China and are experiencing symptoms should contact a doctor.
As of Thursday, the virus has killed at least 17 people and infected more than 500 in China.
There has been one confirmed case of this strain of the coronavirus in the U.S. so far. Five airports – in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta – are currently screening passengers.
Cases have also been confirmed in Taiwan, Thailand, Japan and South Korea, according to the CDC.
This story has been updated.