OSU experts talk novel coronavirus prevention

OSU says they are implementing new health awareness events and further planning beginning tomorrow.

Posted: Mar 5, 2020 6:44 PM
Updated: Mar 10, 2020 1:48 PM

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Experts at Oregon State University are providing the Corvallis community with information about how to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.

Steve Clark, vice president for university relations and marketing at OSU, said that the campus has multiple strategic plans in place.

“We are in a mode of preventing the spread of the coronavirus,” Clark said. “We are in a mode of providing for wellness, and that does not mean we are in a crisis. We are in a response mode at Oregon State.”

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Beginning Friday, OSU will see an increase in health awareness events and further planning to make the community aware of the best prevention strategies.

“Students, faculty and staff can engage in several measures of wellness prevention,” Clark said. “If you feel sick or if you are sick, stay home. Do not go to class. Do not come to work until you are feeling well.”

Dr. Chunhuei Chi is the director at OSU’s Center for Global Health. He has done extensive research on coronavirus and said that there are many theories to how the virus spread.

“One of the theories is that it came from wild animals, but one team of researchers in China refuted that,” Chi said. “They have found cases that have nothing to do with the fish market and wild animal market.”

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Chi said that it is not just those with a fever or a cough who can end up becoming infectious.

“Those people who look perfectly healthy and normal can be contagious,” Chi said.

While there are tests one can take, Chi said that a reliable testing method has not been created yet.

“There are so many false negatives,” Chi said. “People initially tested negative, and they are assumed negative but turn out to be positive. We don’t know how many cases we missed. Those people carry around those viruses.”

Chi does want to make it clear that coronavirus is far more harmful than the flu. He said many people have spread misinformation that this virus is similar to that.

“No, this is not the flu. With the fatality rate, earlier estimation is about twenty times. Recent estimation, they revised, is even higher than the flu."

All undergraduate and graduate student travel, associated with OSU, to level 3 countries have been banned by OSU. These are countries that the CDC has labeled as high-risk.

“We cannot manage personal travel, but we can manage OSU-affiliated travel.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

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