August 19, 2013
To: The NYU community
From: Carlo Ciotoli, MD, Executive Director of the NYU Student Health Center
In an effort to keep the University community informed, I wanted to provide you with the following health update. Cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, previously known as "novel coronavirus") continue to be reported, primarily from the Arabian Peninsula. To date, some 94 people have been diagnosed with the disease, and 46 deaths have been attributed to the disease, including one individual who had visited the UAE. There have been no signs of MERS within the NYUAD community.
Overall, the risk to travelers remains low and to date there are no travel restrictions to these areas. While much remains unknown about MERS, it may be spread via close human contact, so universal precautions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses may be helpful, which include:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Keeping some distance from people who are coughing, sneezing or appear sick.
Anyone who develops a fever and respiratory symptoms (such as cough or shortness of breath) should seek medical attention and mention their travel history, especially if they have recently been in the Middle East. If you have any additional questions, please contact the NYU Wellness Exchange (email@example.com; 212-443-9999; or 999 from any campus phone).