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Student Health Services offers tips on how to stay healthy

Published February 4, 2020

The Novel Coronavirus is not a pandemic but it has caused panic around the globe and the campus of Cal State Long Beach hasn’t been immune from the concern. Student Health Services officials have received multiple inquires by students and faculty recently who want to know more about the virus that is creating worldwide headlines.

Dr. Kimberly Fodran, interim co-director and Chief of Medical Staff of Student Health Services, said the questions they have fielded are legitimate concerns, but everyone should remember that influenza is “far worse, far more dangerous, (with) far more deaths.”

Fodran said people should be aware that there haven’t been any deaths from the coronavirus and only a handful of cases reported in the United States. Per the Center of Disease Control and local public health officials, the virus is not spreading in local communities and the overall risk of contracting this virus is low. Furthermore, we have no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Long Beach.

“The situation in China is vastly different than the current situation in the U.S. We are fortunate to have a robust system in place with the CDC actively screening and monitoring travelers and potential cases,” Fodran said.

Angela Girard, interim co-director of Student Health Services, Kristen Fabiszewski, assistant director, and Fodran provided answers to common questions and tips for staying healthy.

Should I be concerned if I see someone wearing a mask?

No. That student could be trying to prevent themselves from getting a cold or cough, or they may have a cold or cough and don’t want to spread it. There is no reason for students to worry.

Should I get a mask?

No. Per the CDC, face masks are not recommended for the general public to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Practicing good hygiene, such as coughing or sneezing into an arm or tissue; washing hands frequently; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth; and keeping an arm’s length of separation between yourself and others whenever possible will help stop the spread of any virus.

If I’m feeling feverish or develop a cough, should I get tested?

If a person feels sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing AND has traveled to China or was in close contact with someone diagnosed with coronavirus in the 14 days before you began to feel sick, seek medical care. In Long Beach, there hasn’t been any cases..

What symptoms should I look for?

There’s a lot of overlap with influenza, but it’s fever, a cough and shortness of breath. Those are the main ones.