A hospitalised UCD student suspected of contracting the Coronavirus has been confirmed to not have the virus. UCD has confirmed that a student suspected of having contracted the coronavirus ‘was collected and taken to hospital by ambulance, was seen and discharged as not a Coronavirus case’. According to a UCD spokesperson: “a student who had returned from China within the previous 14 days was feeling unwell and following the guidance and advice issued to students, the on-campus medical services were called.”
Video footage was widely seen of medical personnel dressed in white protective overalls attending to the Ashfield Residences on the UCD campus.
As UCD authorities continue to closely monitor the situation, students and staff have been encouraged to follow the precautions published within an email that has been sent by the Dean of Students. Standard recommendations to avoid the spread of such an infection include: Regular hand-washing with soap and water or the use of alcohol gels, covering of the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
The Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a deadly new strain of the coronavirus family deriving its name from its distinct appearance under a microscope, similar to that of a bundle of crowns. Experts believe that the recent outbreak of the virus did originally come from the Huanan seafood wholesale market in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
The Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that can be spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing. Its main symptoms include difficulty in breathing, fever, coughing which may even lead to more serious illness such as pneumonia, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. The virus targets those most vulnerable such as the very young and old as well as people who are weaker due to other illnesses. The on-going work of scientists has not yet been successful in developing a medicine or vaccine for this new strain of the coronavirus.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), 28,284 laboratory-confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection have been reported, including 565 deaths, as of the 7th February. The majority of cases have occurred in China (28,057), with Europe (29) and North America (17) also reporting diagnoses.
Richard Cunningham – Reporter