February 26, 2020
Purdue suspends university-sponsored travel to additional countries
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - As of this writing, 81,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in 45 countries, including the United States, with a worldwide death toll of just over 2,770. By comparison, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that in the United States alone, the 2019-20 flu season has hospitalized 280,000 people and resulted in 16,000 deaths.
People in the U.S. are at vastly greater risk of serious health concerns from the flu than coronavirus, at least for the foreseeable future. Still, Purdue’s commitment to the health and safety of its community has led the university to take the precaution of canceling all university-sponsored travel to countries the CDC has listed as level 2 and level 3 risks for coronavirus. Countries currently at these levels of risk are China, South Korea, Iran, Italy and Japan. The university’s public health committee will continue to monitor CDC updates, will take additional steps if any countries are added to the list, and will notify the campus community of any changes to current practice.
With spring break around the corner, travelers taking private trips to any location are urged to pay close attention to the CDC risk levels, information being released from destination countries, and updates from air carriers prior to departure and while abroad. For those who choose to travel to an at-risk country, it is strongly recommended that the traveler seek an assessment with a health care provider upon return (PUSH, Center for Healthy Living, etc.). Please note that the possibility exists that a country experiencing an outbreak could suspend travel in and out of the country, which could result in the stranding of travelers.
To help reduce the spread of any illness, including the flu, health care professionals encourage:
- Cover your cough and sneeze.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Stay home when you’re sick.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Purdue has seen no positive cases of coronavirus and will continue to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and federal recommendations. Updates from the Purdue University Student Health Service can be found here.