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Deadly virus fatalities rising

The coronavirus is the latest pandemic to hit the world as it has already infected almost 100,000 people, killed over 3,000 and  spread around the world. 

The first recorded victim of the coronavirus was in China in 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The most coronavirus victims outside China are in Italy, where the virus has killed over 100 people. The death toll in the United States has reached almost a dozen people, with the majority in Washington state.

Grambling State University has issued a statement addressed to faculty, staff and students. 

It reads in part, “Grambling State’s administration is monitoring developments related to the Novel Coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, which was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. At this time, there have been no cases of the disease on campus, in Louisiana, or even in the Southeast region of the United States. 

“The Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, has determined that the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is considered low at this time.

“However, the CDC and the U.S. State Department have upgraded warnings against travel to China to the highest level. The World Health Organization has also declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency. 

“Accordingly, the University is prohibiting all Grambling State students, faculty and staff from traveling to China for university business or university academic purposes, until further notice. Travel to China for personal reasons is also strongly discouraged.”

The virus has symptoms much like the flu but is much deadlier as it has claimed lives around the world. The symptoms are fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. These symptoms can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and kidney failure. 

The doctor who rediscovered the virus, Dr. Li Wenliang, died Feb. 7 as a result of the the virus. He rediscovered the virus in 2019 and knew that it was back harder than ever. When he attempted to speak out about the virus, the Chinese government tried to silence him in fear that an epidemic would bring negative attention to China. 

The virus was first found in the United States when a person in Seattle was confirmed to have caught the illness. 

Nobody in the state of Louisiana has contracted the virus or has shown any early signs or symptoms of the virus. But Louisiana has issued a health statement urging citizens to wash their hands after touching almost about everything, to cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing, and to see a doctor immediately if they feel sick or start to show any signs of symptoms.

GSU advises students who traveled to China in the past 14 days and are not experiencing symptoms to contact the Foster-Johnson Health Center at 318-274-2351 for guidance and assistance.

“Members of the Grambling State community, especially those from China, who are not sick but have an increased level of anxiety about the situation can contact the Foster-Johnson Health Center’s Mental Health Service at 318-274-2351 to speak to someone or make an appointment,” GSU’s statement reads.