2019-nCoV Update January 31

A message from Dr. Paul Genecin
To:  All Yale Students and Faculty

On January 26, I wrote to inform you that a high school student from China who was participating in the annual Yale Model United Nations (YMUN) conference developed cough and fever and was evaluated at the Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) Emergency Department.  I am pleased to report that the student’s test result for 2019-nCoV has come back NEGATIVE. We have shared this happy outcome with the student, their teammates and their advisors. Although this student had a positive lab test for influenza, the Emergency Department physician took the precaution of sending the student’s blood to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to test for the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) recently identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The student was discharged from YNHH and is doing well.

As a reminder, the CDC considers the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to be low. While there is an epidemic in Wuhan and reports of sporadic cases elsewhere in China as well as other countries (including the U.S.), there are no reported cases to date in Connecticut. However, Yale Health, Yale University and our city and state public health authorities continue to monitor and make plans to respond effectively in the event that we see patients with this disease.  You can find updated information about 2019-nCoV disease activity and recommendations at these sites:

CDC: 2019 Novel Coronavirus
WHO: Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

A reminder about influenza:

We are now nearing the peak of seasonal influenza (flu). Influenza and 2019-nCoV infections have similar symptoms including fever, cough, congestion and shortness of breath. At this time, influenza poses a greater risk to our community than coronavirus. While there is no vaccine for coronavirus infection, the influenza vaccine is readily available, safe and effective. Public health authorities strongly advise unimmunized members of the community to get the flu shot. In addition to preventing or mitigating the severity of flu, this vaccine will simplify the evaluation of patients with flu-like symptoms in the event that we begin to see cases of 2019-nCoV in our community.
Members of the Yale community can obtain the influenza vaccine free of charge at the Yale Health Center at 55 Lock Street daily from Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm.

Please check the Yale Health website for updated information about 2019-nCoV including 2019 Novel Coronavirus FAQ’s.

All the best,  

Paul Genecin

Paul Genecin, M.D.
Director, Yale Health
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine