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Two suspected cases of coronavirus in Oxford

There are two suspected cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in Oxford. The two students are living off-campus in isolation until their test results return.

Dean of Students Kimberly Moore said Miami University is cooperating with the Butler County Health District and the Ohio Department of Health and following all federal health code and CDC regulations to ensure the disease does not spread. 

One of the students suspected to have the virus visited Student Health Services (SHS) Monday with flu-like symptoms, SHS tested the student and another — the second suspected case — who traveled with him in China.

In an email to the Miami community on Tuesday, Jan. 28, Vice President of Student Life Jayne Brownell and Terri Buzzell, director of the Miami University health services wrote the university is setting up a call center for any concerned students, faculty and parents to ask questions.

“If you are experiencing symptoms and have traveled to the impacted area, please first call Student Health Services at 513-529-3000 to receive guidance on next steps,” they wrote. 

The Miami community can reach the call center at 513-529-9000 to address any general questions or concerns at.

The coronavirus is a respiratory tract illness ranging from the common cold to dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS. Over 106 people have died and about 4,500 have been sickened by this new strain, according to The New York Times

For comparison, roughly 200,000 people are hospitalized with the flu each year in the U.S., and about 35,000 people die.

Molly Heidemann, director of international student and scholar services, said Miami has about 70 international students hailing from Wuhan, China, where the virus outbreak originated, but is unsure of the exact number.  

Buzzell said preventative precautions for the virus include washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before, during and after you prepare food, before eating and after using the bathroom, before smoking or vaping, after handling cash and more frequently when someone in your house is sick.

The CDC is investigating 110 cases of the virus as of Monday, Jan. 27. There are only five confirmed cases in the U.S. so far: two in California and one in Washington, Arizona and Illinois.

Miami will post all updated information on MyMiami as it becomes available.

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This is an ongoing story. Please check back to or follow us on Twitter @miamistudent for further updates.