How coronavirus scare began
On Jan. 27, two Miami students who had traveled to China complained of flu-like symptoms to health services staff. The students were tested and those tests were sent to the Ohio Department of Health, then the CDC. Even though the students were isolated, two basketball games in Oxford were postponed by the opponents because of the scare.
No other university activities or classes were cancelled.
Miami announced on Thursday it has restricted university-sponsored travel to China for all faculty, staff and students for several weeks amid coronavirus concerns, officials said.
Also, Miami announced that three summer China programs this year will be redirected. One Miami student studying abroad in China has returned to the Oxford campus, and another student who planned to study in China this semester is staying in Oxford, officials said.
Large Chinese population at Miami
Miami has 17,327 undergraduate and 2,607 graduate students on its Oxford campus. Students from China are the university’s largest population of international students with 2,334 enrolled.
About a dozen Miami University Regional campus students in Hamilton and Middletown list their home residence near the area in Wuhan City where the outbreak began in December, according to school officials.
Butler County Health Commissioner confident
Throughout the process, Jennifer Bailer, Butler County health commissioner, showed confidence in her staff and public health agencies. She said the Butler County health agency “trains and prepares for events” similar to the coronavirus virus and she had met with Miami officials even before Chinese students returned to class anticipating a possible coronavirus scare.
“This is what we do,” Bailer said. “We are professionals in health care response and investigation.”
Health officials worked last week to calm fears at Miami University as they awaited the results of coronavirus tests.
“We are on it,” said Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health. “We stand prepared. Only with that travel history (to China) or with a direct contact with someone under investigation are you truly at risk.”
Public health emergency declared
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services declared a public health emergency on Friday, and the CDC issued quarantine orders to all 195 United States citizens who repatriated to the country on Wednesday.
361 deaths reported so far
The death toll from the new coronavirus has exceeded that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2002 and 2003 in mainland China.
China’s Health Commission reported on Sunday that there were 475 recoveries and 361 deaths nationwide. During the SARS outbreak, 349 people died in mainland China.