According to a report in The Tennessean, test samples were shipped Thursday to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after the Tennessee Tech student exhibited “very mild symptoms” possibly related to the coronavirus.
Campus officials said the man’s recent travel history hinted at possible exposure to the virus. Details on where the student traveled, specifically, and when he returned to the United States were not made available.
“Prompt action and communication from front-line medical professionals to public health authorities resulted in rapid isolation of the individual per guidance from (CDC),” the Tennessee Department of Health said Friday.
As of early Sunday, the virus had sickened nearly 2,000 people worldwide and killed 56. It was first identified in Wuhan City, China, and the country has issued massive travel bans to try to stem the spread of the virus.
The new virus comes from a large family of what are known as coronaviruses, some causing nothing worse than a cold. It causes cold- and flu-like symptoms, including cough and fever, and in more severe cases, shortness of breath. It can worsen to pneumonia, which can be fatal.
On Friday, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield and Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the infectious disease unit of the National Institutes of Health, briefed U.S. senators on the spread of the virus.
Three cases have been diagnosed in the United States. A man in his 30s in Washington state was diagnosed on Jan. 21 after returning from a trip to the outbreak's epicenter in central China. A Chicago woman in her 60s, who returned from China on Jan. 13 without showing any signs of illness, was diagnosed on Jan. 24.
Late Saturday night, a patient in Southern California became the third when the traveler from Wuhan tested positive for the virus, the Orange County Health Care Agency said. The patient is in isolation at a hospital and in good condition, a release from the agency said.