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Miami University students test negative for coronavirus

Posted at 6:05 PM, Feb 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-02 23:24:32-05

OXFORD, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Health officials, alongside Miami University and Butler County Public Health officials announced in a press conference Sunday evening that two students being investigated for coronavirus have tested negative for the illness.

Authorities said that currently, there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus anywhere in the state of Ohio, nor are any patients being investigated for the virus in Ohio at this point.

Dr. Jenny Baylor, with Butler County General Health, said the students are now out of isolation, and no longer being monitored.

On Tuesday, Miami University and Butler County Health officials announced that two Miami University students who traveled to China over the winter break were being tested and investigated for the deadly coronavirus.

Officials said the two Miami students are "comfortable" and did not need to be hospitalized. But the two had questionable symptoms and travel locations, so they were tested after one went to the university health clinic Monday and reported their conditions after returning from their trip.

“It’s not a quarantine, but they happen to live independently where they can stay at home," said Dr. Amy Acton, Director of Health for the Ohio Department of Health during the initial press conference Tuesday. "They’re not sick. They don’t need to be hospitalized.”

At this point, Acton said, the coronavirus is not nearly as dangerous to Ohioans as the flu.

“Many, many more people will die in our state from the flu,” she said.

But Acton also pointed out two known "areas of risk" for Ohio when it comes to the coronavirus.

"One is we actually have a sister-city relationship with Wuhan," Acton said, referring to a business relationship with Columbus. "We also have our wonderful students who come here to go to school, but it could be others. It could be professors. So it really is the travel history that's important."

Symptoms of coronavirus include:

  • Fever (may not always be present)
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Runny nose

People who have recently traveled to China or have been in close contact with someone being tested for coronavirus should:

  • Monitor your health for 14 days from the day you first traveled or had contact with someone being tested for the virus. Fourteen days is considered to be the incubation period.
  • Call your doctor before going in if you have any symptoms so they can give instructions.

Click here for tips on how to protect yourself from the coronavirus.