The eighth case of coronavirus confirmed in the US is a student at University of Massachusetts Boston, public health officials in Massachusetts said during a call with reporters today. The man had recently returned from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.
The case poses no increased risk to other students on the university’s campus, said Dr. Jennifer Lo, medical director of the Boston Public Health Commission.
“He was very appropriate in seeking medical attention. He did not participate in any university activities from the time he arrived in the United States to his home,” Lo said.
She added that the student, a man in his 20s, is currently “doing quite well” and is being quarantined at his home, which is not in a dorm on campus. He is being monitored by public health nurses who are calling him regularly.
“We won’t release him from isolation until we are satisfied it’s safe to do so,” said Dr. Larry Madoff, medical director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences.
“He returned to Boston directly from China through Logan Airport. He returned on the 28th of January, recognized quickly that he was ill and sought medical attention. He had only been ill for a brief period of time when he arrived,” Madoff said. “Active screening had not yet begun at Logan at that time.”
The patient had a runny nose when he arrived in Boston, health officials said, and has been in isolation since he sought medical care on Jan. 29. Madoff said he could count the patient’s close contacts “on our fingers,” and contacts are household members and medical personnel who treated the man.
All public health officials on the call emphasized that the overall risk to residents in Massachusetts remains low.