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Important information about the coronavirus

What is the coronavirus?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Chinese authorities identified the coronavirus, which has resulted in about 17,000 confirmed cases in China, including cases outside Wuhan City.

The University understands the concern of its Chinese students, and we encourage them to reach out to Student Health Services or the International Center with questions or concerns.

Additional cases of coronavirus have been identified in other international locations, including the United States. In all known U.S. cases, the person had traveled to China prior to experiencing symptoms.

There are no confirmed cases in Ohio. On Sunday, Feb. 2, lab results showed that two Miami (Ohio) University students did not have the coronavirus. The two had reported flu-like symptoms after returning to Ohio from China.

UA's response

Unless you have recently traveled to China or have been around someone ill with this new virus, your risk of getting sick is low. If you traveled from China and are experiencing signs or symptoms, contact your doctor BEFORE going to the physician’s office. University of Akron students who meet these criteria and are experiencing signs and symptoms, should contact Student Health Services at 330-972-7808 before seeking care.

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel warning for China due to the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. Additionally, the World Health Organization has determined that the situation in China constitutes a “public health emergency of international concern” and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued its highest warning for China – Level 3 – Avoid Nonessential Travel.

Due to these developments, The University of Akron will temporarily restrict University-sponsored travel to China for all faculty, staff and students. These restrictions are effective immediately and will be in place until further notice.

As a reminder, faculty, staff and administrators traveling abroad on, or in support of, University business must register their travel.

Examples of “University business” include, but are not limited to:

  • Attending a conference
  • Guest lecturing
  • Recruiting
  • Education abroad
  • Conducting research supported by UA

If you have questions, please consult with our International Center.


At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus spreads between people. Chinese officials report that sustained person-to-person spread in the community is occurring in China. The latest situation summary updates are available on CDC’s web page 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China.

For confirmed 2019-nCoV infections, reported illnesses have ranged from infected people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

CDC believes at this time that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 after exposure.


There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. As a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.


Other updates:

  • It is required that all students traveling abroad and study abroad program participants register their travel plans with our International Center.
  • A College of Business Administration sponsored trip to Asia for May will be rescheduling the China portion of that trip. The sponsoring faculty members will be in touch with students who have reserved a seat.
  • Faculty, administrators or students who may have had other trips to China scheduled should consult with the International Center or the Office of Academic Affairs to discuss alternate arrangements.
  • To our students from China: We know this situation is difficult for you and your family and friends back home. We are here to support you. Please reach out to Student Health Services or the International Center with questions or concerns.
  • We are seeing fake tweets falsely asserting that coronavirus has been confirmed at various universities, with a link that leads to inappropriate content. As always, be mindful of sources before you trust content or follow links. We keep this page current with information about the virus and the campus response. Please check there before sharing information.

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