Jun 24, 2020 - Health

One-third of spring breakers on Mexico trip contracted coronavirus

Guests dance to DJ music during the Chuckie & Friends Party hosted by 93.5FM Revolution Radio Miami

Guests dance to DJ music in March 2020. Photo: Sean Drakes/Getty Images

64 college-aged people who were on a spring break trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in late March contracted COVID-19, with one-fifth showing symptoms, a Wednesday case study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

Why it matters: The report reveals how universities that are planning to reopen this fall must prepare for clusters of cases that could easily spread among groups of young, healthy students.

The big picture: Young people can contract and spread the coronavirus with mild to no symptoms, endangering more vulnerable populations when they travel or do not seriously practice social distancing measures.

  • In March, a University of Texas at Austin student tested positive for the coronavirus with cough, sore throat and shortness of breath, followed by two other positive cases.
  • Contact tracers found the students were a part of a cluster of 64 positive cases (28%) out of 183 travelers that returned from a spring break trip the week before.
  • Several other cases were from students' roommates and their community.

What to watch: Outbreaks could occur on college campuses in the fall if good contact tracing resources are not implemented to track and isolate people, the CDC warns.

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