UMass Boston student first confirmed case of Wuhan Coronavirus in Mass.

BOSTON, MASS (WLNE) – A student at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, has tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus, UMass Boston officials confirmed.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). the man lives in Boston and is in his 20s.

Officials say the student traveled to Wuhan, China, and arrived in Boston via Logan International Airport on Tuesday.

The DPH and Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC)  were notified by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the positive test results on Friday, making it the eighth case of infection with the 2019 novel coronavirus reported in the United States.

However, the risk of infection remains low in Massachusetts, according to the DPH.

The man who recently traveled to Wuhan China immediately sought medical care after his return to Massachusetts.

Since that time, he has been isolated and will continue to remain in isolation until cleared by public health officials, says the DPH.

His close contacts have been identified and are being monitored for any symptoms of the illness.

Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD. MPH said the department is grateful that the man immediately looked for treatment.

“Massachusetts has been preparing for a possible case of this new coronavirus, and we were fortunate that astute clinicians took appropriate action quickly. Again, the risk to the public from the 2019 novel coronavirus remains low in Massachusetts,” said Bharel.

“Our priority is not only to protect and inform the residents of Boston, but also to help this man continue to recover. We are pleased he is doing well,” said BPHC Executive Director Rita Nieves.

“Right now, we are not asking Boston residents to do anything differently. The risk to the general public remains low. And we continue to be confident we are in a good position to respond to this developing situation,” said Nieves.

On Thursday, the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a global emergency.

The US Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar declared the virus a public health emergency and ordered any U.S citizens returning from the center of the outbreak in China to be quarantined for two weeks as a precaution.

The novel coronavirus has resulted in thousands of confirmed infections in more than 20 countries, with more than 99 percent of these cases being in China.

There have been eight confirmed cases in the United States: three people in California, two in Illinois, and one individual in Washington, Arizona, and now Massachusetts.

The BPHC and DPH continue to work closely with the CDC to maintain vigilance during this virus outbreak.

 

 

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