UMass Boston Student Tests Positive for Coronavirus
A student at the University of Massachusetts Boston has tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus, state public health officials announced on Saturday.
It's the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in Massachusetts, and the eighth reported nationwide.
The student, a man in his 20s, recently traveled to Wuhan, China. He arrived at Logan International Airport on Tuesday, and went to a medical facility on Wednesday. He is now confined to his home and will remain in quarantine until he is cleared by public health officials, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
State and city health officials were notified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control of the positive test result on Friday. They said the man only come in contact with household members and the medical staff who treated him. Those individuals are now being monitored for potential symptoms.
"We are grateful that this young man is recovering and sought medical attention immediately," said Dr. Monica Bharel, Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner. "Massachusetts has been preparing for a possible case of this new coronavirus, and we were fortunate that astute clinicians took appropriate action quickly."
Bharel added that the risk to the public from the coronavirus remains low in Massachusetts.
On Friday, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency and ordered American citizens returning from the Wuhan region to be quarantined for two weeks as a precautionary measure. The World Health Organization on Thursday declared that the outbreak is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Also that day the CDC reported the first case of person-to-person transmission in Illinois between household members.
Boston Logan International Airport has been identified by the CDC as one of 20 U.S. airports that will have enhanced risk assessments for passengers arriving from China. Logan does not have a non-stop flight from Wuhan.
The 2019 novel coronavirus, a respiratory infection, has resulted thousands of confirmed infections in more than 20 countries, with more than 99 percent in China. To date, eight cases have been confirmed in the US: three in California, two in Illinois, and one person each in Massachusetts, Washington State, and Arizona.