College campuses on edge due to coronavirus outbreak
Students and staff on college campuses across the country are on edge as rumors swirl surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, The New York Times reports.
Why it matters: University campuses can be breeding grounds for infectious and viral diseases. Illnesses can also spread quickly considering the close proximity in which students reside.
The state of play:
- Two undergraduate students from Wuhan, China at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville were moved into a special dorm room and told to frequently take their temperatures.
- A student-organized petition to cancel classes is circulating at Arizona State University after a confirmed case of the virus struck the campus.
- Basketball games at Miami University in Ohio were postponed after two students reportedly showed possible symptoms.
- Boston University postponed its study abroad program to Shanghai scheduled to depart in February.
Yes, but: Some students of Asian descent told the Times they've seen an uptick in xenophobic claims following the outbreak.
- Some students have reportedly posted online that they are avoiding their Asian classmates.
The bottom line: "[C]ampus health officials are taking on two challenges: informing the public about the virus while managing exaggerated fears, and continuing to handle the flu viruses that typically spread this time of year," the Times writes.